Home » This Is The Electric Renault 5 Before You’re Supposed To See It

This Is The Electric Renault 5 Before You’re Supposed To See It

Renault 5 E Tech Leak Ts2
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If you like small French hatchbacks, you’ve come to the right place. See, we also like small French hatchbacks and there’s some enormous news stirring up the segment. The reborn Renault 5 E-Tech electric hatchback has leaked via World Intellectual Property Organization patent drawings, and it looks absolutely tremendous. It nails the retro brief perfectly.

With a hatch on the back, hidden door handles, and resilient plastic bumpers, the original Renault 5 was a breath of fresh air in the small car segment, and it sold in the millions. The crazy part? The whole car materialized from unofficial doodling. See, in the late 1960s, Renault planner Bernard Hanon penciled in plans to expand the brand’s small car range, and designer Michel Boué took up the gauntlet, sketching out the Renault 5 in his own time.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Soon, company bosses caught wind of Boué’s work, and the sketches were turned into a foam model in just two days. From there, development continued, with the car going on sale in 1972. Sadly, Boué wouldn’t live to see the sheer impact of his creation over the production run — he died just months after the Renault 5 went on sale. What a legacy to leave behind, though.

Renault 5 Og

If you’re American and the styling of the new Renault 5 looks familiar, there’s a reason for that. Between 1976 and 1983, it actually made it to America, first under its global moniker and then under the name “LeCar,” which humorously doesn’t mean “the car” in French. Look, the 1970s were a time when you could name a car LeCar and have it adopted by American police forces. Things were weird.

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Renault 5 E-Tech Leak Profile

Anyway, the new Renault 5 E-Tech is still a subcompact hatchback, but it adopts the five-door form modern consumers want. While the hidden rear door handles don’t quite offer three-door looks because the B-pillar is far forward, this treatment should still appeal to many fashion-conscious shoppers. Speaking of fashion, the Renault 5 E-Tech does retro right by adopting a handful of throwback elements rather than smearing it on with a trowel. A lighting silhouette here, a sloping line there, and presto: Just enough to show that this little hatchback had devilishly handsome parents.

Renault 5 E-Tech Leak 1

While technical details haven’t leaked along with the styling, expect the Renault 5 E-Tech to run on Renault’s incoming CMF-B EV platform, which shares a bulk of components with the CMF-B platform underneath models like the Renault Clio. Expect NMC battery chemistry, modest power output, and pricing on the more reasonable end of the EV spectrum. Sure, this thing likely won’t be Dacia Spring cheap, but it should feel a full step up from that budget electric city car.

Renault 5 E-Tech Leak Rear Three Quarters

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Sadly, the Renault 5 E-Tech isn’t looking like it’ll be sold in the U.S. or Canada, but that won’t stop us from looking on with curiosity as further details arise. There’s a chance we could get the promised (and faster) Alpine version, however. Expect an actual public unveiling early next year, which isn’t that far away when you think about it.

(Photo credits: World Intellectual Property Organization, Renault)

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Torque
Torque
2 months ago

I just want an electric C4 Catus with 300 miles range on our USA shores.

We need more weird and if anything the French (Citroën especially) are really good at weird

Torque
Torque
2 months ago

Woo-hoo a new French “The Car”!

Noodles Gargamel
Noodles Gargamel
2 months ago

That ugly-as-hell car looks like it wants to steal all the Energon.

Manuel Verissimo
Manuel Verissimo
2 months ago
Philip Dunlop
Philip Dunlop
2 months ago

The second gen R5 has a special place in my heart. It came in a metallic turquoise colour that this car also needs to come in. The off-white in the above pics doesn’t really engage the imagination, and the car’s proportions appear to have taken on a more CUV-like stance than the concept bore. Which would be unfortunate, especially since the R4 concept has already gone down that road, but out of context, the R5 images may be tricking my eyes.

Cameron Showers
Cameron Showers
2 months ago

My friend’s dealership actually has a jdm spec Clio (lutecia) that i absolutely love, adorable little thing with it’s clamshell hood!

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
2 months ago

The original was designed by one person. This was like, what a committee of 100+? Half of which were probably teenagers inspired by their video games. This thing is one big pile of cliches. I’m not saying they should go all retro, but there are some cues and spirit that could have been considered. The original had a lightness, almost a delicacy of form. This is all bulky and agro. I get things need to be bigger now, but they don’t have to look that way. Just because your CAD program spits out polygons and creases doesn’t mean you have to use that plug-in all the time.

I want to like this, it’s the class of car I prefer, but this is a miss as it is rendered. Clean up the form. Get rid of the canted belt line, the coke bottle door creases, the tired floating roof cliche. How about taking some inspiration from the original utilitarian looking ribbed rubber bumpers? And for crying out loud – no more stupid c-pillar door handles! GRRR…

Theotherotter
Theotherotter
2 months ago

Well done. Even the six-spoke wheels are a subtle reference to the original three-bolt hubs.

Brian Ash
Brian Ash
2 months ago

It not that bad, maybe because of all the Renault hatches we had way back and love the R5 Turbo, that I like old & new Mini designs, and it’s kinda a sportier looking i3. Now blow it out into a Clio like hot hatch version with a price under $40k and I might buy it, I only need 200 mile range.

Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
2 months ago

Thanks, I hate it.

Spence
Spence
2 months ago

The idea of squirting this little beauty around the steep and narrow roads of Marseille fills me with glee.

John Patson
John Patson
2 months ago

Missed the big novelty about it. It is designed from the start so the battery can feed into the grid, as well as sucking from it.
So a fully charged R5 will quite possibly feed into the grid at the big 7.00am surge as people wake up and put on the kettle, earning the owner bucks, and still have enough juice to get to work and back, before hooking up, and if there is any left in the battery, squirt some in the grid for the evening cooking hour, before charging in the late hours when electricity is cheap…

Anders
Anders
2 months ago

My only question is how small it really is? Has it put on weight like a Mini or like an Ioniq?

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
2 months ago
Reply to  Anders

You have to ask? /s

RalliartWagon
RalliartWagon
2 months ago

If they don’t slap a Mitsubishi badge on that and sell it in the US, then they are idiots.

Silent But Deadly
Silent But Deadly
2 months ago
Reply to  RalliartWagon

Not a chance. Besides, Nissan is the North American market ‘principal’ for the Alliance. So if you do see something like this it will have a Nissan Micra EV badge on it.

RalliartWagon
RalliartWagon
2 months ago

That works too. Both brands are in desperate need of some interesting new product.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
2 months ago

Yeah, Nissan’s blocked Mitsubishi from getting other new products before to keep direct competition down in North America, and they’ll do it again if they have to. At the end of the day, I think they want Mitsubishi to have just enough to not completely collapse, but not enough to be an actual threat to anyone.

Silent But Deadly
Silent But Deadly
2 months ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

Mitsubishi are the Alliance leaders in South East Asia and Oceania. They’re not in any danger. In fact, they’ve been teaching both Nissan and Renault are thing or three about efficiency in both development and production of motor vehicles.

Marc Fuhrman
Marc Fuhrman
2 months ago

That’s…a bit underwhelming. The concept had excellent proportions to it’s design and some really brilliant details. Like, the red light up bit that connected the tail lights with the 5 logo was my favorite part. This looks rather watered down and generic in comparison.
At least the wheel design is nice?

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
2 months ago

“Sadly, the Renault 5 E-Tech isn’t looking like it’ll be sold in the U.S. or Canada…”

Why not? With any luck the name Lectric Leopard is still available:

http://renault-5.net/usa_lectric.htm

Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
2 months ago
Reply to  Mike Harrell

I was going to mention the Fiat Ritmo/Strada-based Lectric Leopard, but clicking the link I was schooled instead; apparently there was also a planned version based on the Fiat 127 900/c???

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
2 months ago

I was only aware of the version based on the Le Car. There’s at least one running example here in town but the owner has shown no interest in parting with it.

Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
2 months ago
Reply to  Mike Harrell

I didn’t know about the Ritmo-based one up until maybe a year ago – I’d known about the Le Car-based one for a long time. Lectric was a pretty bonkers company, it appears. I wonder if they tinkered with other european cars.

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
2 months ago

The company behind the Lectric Leopard was US Electricar, formerly known as CHW Industries after its founder, Chandler H. Waterman. One of his earlier efforts was the EV conversion of DAF 44 and 46 sedans:

https://www.daf.dse.nl/usa-Waterman%20Electric%20Dafs.htm

https://www.osti.gov/biblio/6512206

The company eventually went through a series of buyouts and mergers as summarized here, with some other EV conversions along the way:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enova_Systems

Last edited 2 months ago by Mike Harrell
Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
2 months ago
Reply to  Mike Harrell

Awesome stuff, thanks for sharing!

Bruce Larson
Bruce Larson
2 months ago

As a former owner of two LeCars, I really wish this would make it to Canada/US in the non-Alpine version. Too bad they didn’t stick with the old door handle design.

CSRoad
CSRoad
2 months ago
Reply to  Bruce Larson

I miss them too, along with real Renault dealers in Canada, I look upon the AMC/Renault conglomeration that happened with a fair amount of distaste.
I agree on the door handles.

Jakob K's Garage
Jakob K's Garage
2 months ago

Save some more money and just build it on the basis of the silly short range Honda E – of course with a modern battery configuration. Looks about the same.

Jmfecon
Jmfecon
2 months ago

Hmmm, based on the overhangs, proportions and general design, it looks awfully similar to Kwid.

For those who don’t know, Kwid is Renault’s India project for an entry level car for emerging markets. Think econobox. Think that squared. Now cubed. You are still understimating how bad it is. It was so bad that Renault’s brazilian division had to improve the project to be sold in South America because it security was subpar for its standards (which are low).

In Europe is sold as Dacia, and its eletrified version is called Spring in Europe, eKwid or Kwid eTech in some markets. It was developed in China, if I am not wrong.

If it is really the case here, Renault is wasting a good opportunity to revive a great nameplate in a proper way.

Niklas Fabian
Niklas Fabian
2 months ago
Reply to  Jmfecon

The Renault 5 has nothing to do with the Dacia Spring. Thank God.
I drove the Spring as a courtesy car when my Zoe was being serviced.
It was “not good”, to put it mildly.
When the Citroen e-C3 arrives, the Spring will have no chance at the current price in Europe, especially in Germany.
The Renault 5 is based on a new platform and Renault needs this to remain competitive in the future or to become competitive again in this segment. The Zoe as a predecessor is a good car in itself, but is now simply outdated in pretty much every respect.

Jmfecon
Jmfecon
2 months ago
Reply to  Niklas Fabian

For me, they look a bit like the other. I am not saying that they will re-use the plataform, but they look similar:

https://ibb.co/vv1ZM6p

Good it will be based on a better plataform, at least they say it will.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
2 months ago

New Le Car, from your local Nissan/Infiniti-Renault dealers?

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
2 months ago

Apparently there was a concept shown a couple years ago which I totally missed, seems like this holds pretty close aside from the front bumper/fascia and with real front door handles. Hidden rear door handles I guess are just the fake fender vent of our time, it’s not like the 5 wasn’t offered with rear doors originally so doing so serves no purpose.

I think it looks great, I wouldn’t think the 5 has enough nostalgia to warrant a retro revival on its own, but this is a nice nod to it without being forced. It could be introduced on its own without any history and still look like a nice contemporary design.

It would have to come under Alpine branding somehow, I can’t imagine what else would work – Le Car was fun for the 70s, but imagine how generic calling it E-Car would sound.

Harvey Park
Harvey Park
2 months ago

> I wouldn’t think the 5 has enough nostalgia to warrant a retro revival on its own

Oh hell yeah it does. Not in the US, but in Yurp and in France especially it’s about as iconic as the 2CV.

Torque
Torque
2 months ago

Introducing the new 2024 Renault Le E-Car!

Arch Duke Maxyenko
Arch Duke Maxyenko
2 months ago

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