Renault 5 Returns As Retrolicious EV With Up To 248 Miles Of WLTP Range


This is the all-new Renault 5. An electric four-door hatchback that revives the iconic nameplate once slapped on France’s best-selling car–the same which was known as the Le Car in the United States for a relatively short stint in the 1970s.

It looks almost identical to the concept car that was unveiled in 2021, which says a lot about Renault’s confidence in its design department. We think it looks very cool, but you can chime in with your thoughts in the comments section below.

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The quintessential French hatchback goes all-electric

The first-gen Renault 5 from the 1970s was France’s best-selling car for a good number of years. In the U.S. it was sold as the Le Car and had far less success than in Europe. Now, though, there’s an all-new Renault 5, and this time it’s electric.

First, the specs. The all-new Renault 5 is based on the so-called AmpR Small platform, which was previously known as the CMF-B EV architecture. It’s intended for B-segment EVs and it will also be the foundation for the upcoming Renault 4.

The 5 will be available with two battery options, both using the Nickel-Manganese-Cobalt (NMC) chemistry. The entry-level pack boasts a capacity of 40 kilowatt-hours and offers a WLTP driving range of up to 300 kilometers (186 miles), while the bigger option has 52 kWh and increases the maximum estimated range to 400 km (248 miles).

Renault says that the larger battery consists of just four large modules with 46 cells in each module, while the smaller pack has three modules, each with 31 slightly larger cells. This approach is different from that used on the discontinued Zoe hatchback, which uses twelve smaller modules, and helps save some 20 kilograms (44 pounds) in weight. The Renault 5’s big battery weighs about 280 kg (617 lbs) and the smaller one tips the scales at 240 kg (529 lbs).

Speaking of weight, the new urban EV has just 1,450 kg (3,196 lbs) when fitted with the 52-kWh battery pack, making it as light as some comparable internal combustion engine cars.

When it comes to size, the Renault 5 EV slots somewhere between the Twingo and Clio hatchbacks, measuring 3.92 meters (154.33 inches) long, 1.77 m (69.6 in) wide, and 1.5 m (59 in) tall. In other words, it’s about 10 inches shorter than the discontinued Chevrolet Bolt EV but the width and height are almost the same. The trunk has a volume of 326 liters (11.5 cubic feet) and by the looks of it, there’s no frunk. However, the automaker says there’s a special compartment in the trunk to store the charging cable.

The 5 is front-wheel-drive only and there are three power options: 70 kW (93 hp), 90 kW (120 hp), and 110 kW (147 hp). The first two can only be had in combination with the 40 kWh battery, while the most powerful motor only comes with the larger, 52 kWh pack. Going from zero to 62 miles per hour (0-100 kilometers per hour) takes less than eight seconds, according to Renault, presumably for the most powerful version.

All versions can be recharged from an AC source at up to 11 kW. As for DC fast charging, the car can accept up to 80 kW if it’s fitted with the 90 kW, while the top variant can accept up to 100 kW. A rather cool feature is a charging indicator on the hood.

Furthermore, the two most powerful versions of the Renault 5 come with vehicle-to-load (V2L) functionality as standard, meaning owners can export power from the high-voltage battery to power things like appliances and tools. The maximum power output is 3.7 kW.

The French EV also comes as standard with Plug & Charge, which means the owner doesn’t have to swipe a card every time the car needs to be recharged, and vehicle-to-grid (V2L). The latter means the car can be used to inject power back into the grid when it’s convenient, price-wise. The first European markets where the Renault 5 owners will be able to use this feature will be France and Germany this year and the United Kingdom in 2025.

Renault 5 E-Tech Electric (2024)

Inside, all versions of the compact EV come with a 10-inch central touchscreen that can run native Android apps like Spotify, Google Maps, Waze, and more. It also has wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. A second 10-inch screen (7-inch in the case of the entry-level trim) takes the role of a digital instrument cluster.

The design of the seats is inspired by the flame-throwing R5 Turbo and the fabric used to cover them is made from 100% recycled materials. The dashboard and door panels of some trims are also made from recycled plastic.

There’s also a virtual travel companion called Avatar Reno, which supposedly interacts with the driver and passengers, both inside and outside the car. And because it integrates with the artificial intelligence chatbot ChatGPT, it can reply to questions using basically the whole internet as its source of information.

Driving the Renault 5 is supposed to be quite fun, too, according to its maker. The EV boasts the same front suspension as the gas-powered Clio and Captur, while the rear gets a multi-link setup that’s usually found in larger and more expensive cars, according to Renault.

Adaptive cruise control with stop & go and lane centering are part of the pack and make for a Level 2-capable EV. This means that the car can partially drive itself but the driver is still responsible for everything and has to take over control when the vehicle says so.

The new Renault 5 E-Tech Electric will be built in France, where multiple factories will contribute to making the EV. The car will be assembled in Douai, while the battery pack will be initially made at the Ruitz factory before passing the torch to the Douai facility. Prices will start at around 25,000 Euro (roughly $27,000) without incentives and deliveries are set to begin later this year on the Old Continent.

What’s your take on this: would you buy the modern Le Car if it came to the United States? Let us know in the comments below.



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