The French are planning more than a dozen core car launches by 2025, and the plan includes this new Renault 5 concept
We should probably remember the Renault 5 more often. My aunt had one, ragged and worn, and I would always marvel at how nice it was to drive once you overlooked everything that was falling off it.
There’s plenty of talk about ground-breaking cars, undermining the term, but the Cinq really is a special car. A young designer called Michel Boué sketched it up in his spare time just for kicks, and by chance his superiors saw the design and the cleverness behind it. This was back in 1968, when nothing of the sort existed on the market – by the time Renault’s daring three-door hatchback went to production it was 1972, and it would be another two years until Volkswagen caught up with the Golf, and we all remember that one.
Immediately the Renault 5 made everything else look dated – the French had to come up with new technologies and manufacturing methods to incorporate Boué’s integrated bumpers, while everybody else still used to just bolt on bars of steel to their cars. Brilliantly packaged and spacious, with a pliable suspension that made every drive fun, if bouncy, the Renault 5 was made for more than two decades all over the world, with engines mounted behind the front axle. It was technically a mid-engined, front-wheel drive car.
And it took Renault long enough to do an homage to this iconic little hatchback – the deal is, Renault is planning to launch 14 new cars by 2025, half of which will be fully electric. This new Renault 5 concept suggests it’s part of the plan, and it’s set to go on sale in production form by 2023.
Of course the Renault 5 revival is an EV, and it borrows much of its styling cues from the second generation of the original which has Marcello Gandini’s signature on it – you know, the same guy who gave the world the Lamborghini Miura, Countach, and Diablo. So it’s not a bad influence to fall on. The front and rear lights are particularly familiar, and the old-school Renault badge is a nice touch.
So far there’s not much Renault is revealing, but an EV architecture affords the car just about no overhangs and tight proportions, although we’ll see how much of the concept actually makes it into the showroom.