Renault 5 E-Tech Electric Previewed

BY Vivek Max R

To be launched in September 2024, the Renault 5 E-Tech draws upon its heritage to meet modern-day challenges.

Stepping back in time to 1975 saw the launch of the first Renault 5, a unique car renowned for its avant-garde design, versatility and fuel frugality.

It addressed the challenges of its times for millions of families, responding to the oil shock, changing lifestyles, and the need for a second car.

However, in later years, different versions were spawned, including some hotted-up performance and racing variants of the Renault 5.

performance variants, clockwise from above-left: 1985 Supercinq GT Turbo, 1978 5 Turbo, 1987 5 Super Production

Fast forward to 2021, and the world witnessed the unveiling of the Renault 5 prototype.

This then brings us on to the present day with the Renault 5 E-Tech electric. Renault says "It represents the 'Renaulution' recovery strategy, as well as the industrial renewal and electric shift of its iconic brand."

Boy, does Renault need a recovery, and this appears to be a great start.

Developed through innovative working methods, this production model has all the magic and charm of the aforementioned prototype. It was developed in just three years, compared with the usual four.

Packed with electrical and digital technology and entirely manufactured in France, it is also competitively priced, starting at around €25,000.

To achieve this result in the small, affordable city car segment, the Renault Group drew upon its full range of expertise, and particularly that of Renault, Ampere, the group's entity specialising in electric vehicles and software, and Mobilize.

“Renault 5 E-Tech Electric is a car unlike any other. Its release coincides with a major shift by millions of Europeans towards new mobility which is electric, connected, and sustainable. It also triggered the transformation of Renault Group into a next-generation automotive company. To develop this car in just three years in France, to the highest technological standard, all our decisions had to be disruptive, and our organisation as agile as possible."

"We were the first ones to make a bet on a 100% electric platform for a small European car, to optimise costs across the value chain, to relocate our industrial ecosystem... Only an iconic car could bring our teams together in this way and move the needle internally. In the face of significant change in our industry, this car paves a new way for Renault. It’s at the heart of the battle to reinvent European industry against competition coming from the East and the West. With this vehicle we’re proving that production in Europe, in France really is possible!” said Luca de Meo, CEO of Renault Group.

When the original Renault 5 was launched in 1972, it turned heads with its original and modern design. It was a breath of fresh air, symbolising freedom and joie de vivre. So does the Renault 5 E-Tech electric. I mean, just look at it! Doesn't it make you feel all warm and tingly within?

The design team took a deeply emotive approach to their work, adopting a ‘retrofuturistic’ style. Bright colours, headlamps with a cheeky look, vertical rear lights, sculpted wings, a coloured roof trim, a vent grille on the bonnet and more. v

Renault 5 E-Tech Electric makes many nods to the mischievous style of its predecessor. The idea was to give a fresh twist to the details that live on in people’s minds, in keeping with the 21st century and the electric transition.

This is the first vehicle to be designed entirely on AmpR Small, Renault's new Ampere platform dedicated to B-segment electric vehicles. This offers real competitive advantages including a flat floor, a long wheelbase of 2.54 metres, optimised interior space and boot capacity of 326 litres, lower centre of gravity and reduced weight of less than 1.5 tons.

A new AC bidirectional charger compatible with V2L (vehicle-to-load) and V2G (vehicle-to-grid) technologies features here. Thanks to its 11 kW AC charger, its 80 or 100kW DC charger and its battery of up to 52kWh, the Renault 5 E-Tech electric offers a range of up to 400km WLTP. It can even tow a smaller trailer, with a towing capacity of 500kg.

The emotion inspired by the exterior design is mirrored inside. The interior features a large 10.1" multimedia touchscreen with a bright, flowing interface. The graphic and sound design of the welcome sequence was developed in collaboration with the Ircam Institute of Music and Sound and with Jean-Michel Jarre.

The Renault 5 E-Tech electric is touted as a high-tech car packed with cutting-edge innovations.

It has the latest generation OpenR Link system with Google built-in, along with over 50 apps and practical services such as integrating electric recharging in the planned journey.

Alongside the connected services of Google is the debut of Reno, the official Renault avatar that serves as "an intelligent, helpful and endearing travel companion." Reno is said to have a "real personality," and is designed to respond to user queries and commands while giving "the vehicle a relational signature that is full of empathy."

Sound comfort is optimised with the patented smart cocoon soundproofing system and an acoustic windscreen, a feature borrowed from further up the market. For thermal comfort, an economical heat pump saves battery energy.

Driving aids (ADAS) borrowed from further up the market, including intelligent adaptive cruise control that reads the road, and Active Driver Assist, a level 2 automated driving technology, also features here.

The official launch is expected to be in September 2024.

Renault Group is committed to producing the Renault 5 E-Tech electric and its battery in France from summer 2025. Vehicles and batteries will be assembled at the Douai plant, which was one of the production sites for the original Renault 5.

The motor will be manufactured at Cléon and the modules produced by the Douai Gigafactory from summer 2025. By 2030, Renault says the carbon footprint of the modules will be 35% smaller than for the Renault ZOE.

Photo Credits: Renault