Earlier this week it was revealed that French carmaker Renault was investigating the idea of turning back the clock with some reborn nameplates from the past brought back to life as next-gen EVs. We expected this to manifest in a few quotes confirming as much later in the month. We didn’t necessarily expect it to manifest with the reveal of an entire car …
But, here it is. Renault has unveiled its new Renault 5 — the ‘5 Prototype’ — packed with loving references to the original hatchback of the 1970s and ‘80s while also being a fully electric car. And yes, it’s a model that will eventually hit production.
Following in the footsteps of the equally retro Honda e, the 5 features similar boxed arches, squared off front intakes that evoke the Group B hero’s fog lights, the off-set bonnet vent, and a very similar silhouette and proportion set.
This is contrasted by all sorts of modern tropes, like the swathes of LED lighting, a lack of grilles, the rear light-bar that spans the width of the car, and huge Renault branding front and rear. All up, it’s a stunning wee package — perhaps one of Renault’s most exciting reveals in a decade.
Little has been revealed yet about the electric powertrain underneath, but expect the diminutive Frenchie to have output numbers that go after the aforementioned Honda, and the Fiat 500 Electric and Mini Cooper SE.
“The design of the Renault 5 Prototype is based on the R5, cult model of our heritage,” said Gilles Vidal, Renault’s Design Director. “This prototype simply embodies modernity, a vehicle relevant to its time: urban, electric, attractive.”
Things don’t end with this car, either. As previously speculated, Renault has confirmed that there are more retro EVs to come as part of what it calls its ‘Renaulution’ (groan). Seven new EVs will be launched by the marque by 2025, with Alpine understood to be following suit. Hey, how about an Alpine 5 hot hatch, Renault?