The New Renault 5 Proves Good Things Come In Small Packages

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The biggest debut this year at the Geneva Motor Show is undoubtedly the all-new Renault 5. Yes, the supermini known as the “Le Car” in the United States is officially back in Europe, strictly as an electric model. The R5 was discontinued in 1996 and returns as a fresh take on a small EV ready to tackle the urban jungle.

Thankfully, the French marque hasn’t messed around with the design too much compared to the initial concept car in early 2021. We’re being told the electric supermini known by its full name as the Renault 5 E-Tech Electric adopts retro-futuristic styling. The description does fit the bill since the design team did a great job of coming out with a modern-day successor while staying true to its ancestors.

The cute headlights and vertical taillights are a nod to the Renault 5 before it, much like the prominent wheel arches. Renault decided to integrate the rear door handles at the base of the C-pillars to give the illusion of a three-door body style akin to the classic model. While the first two generations offered a choice of three or five doors, the new model is a five-door-only affair. At the rear, the red accents on the roof spoiler are a nod to the R5 Turbo hot hatch.

For the interior, the company with the diamond logo has also tried to respect the elderly. The vertical stitching on the dashboard harkens back to old models, as do the rectangular air vents. The large frame for the digital instrument cluster and infotainment is a throwback to the blocky dash used back in the day. The driver’s display measures 7 or 10 inches depending on the version while the touchscreen always has a 10-inch diagonal.

The 2024 Renault 5 is 3.92 meters (154.3 inches) long, 1.77 meters (69.7 inches) wide, and 1.5 meters (59 inches) tall, with a wheelbase of 2.54 meters (100 inches) and a cargo capacity of 326 liters (11.5 cubic feet). Despite being a petite car, it rides on large 18-inch wheels with 195/55 R18 tires. The new EV is bigger than the Twingo but smaller than the Clio and is the first model to ride on the AmpR Small platform – previously known as CMF-B EV.

The lightest version with the smaller 40-kWh battery pack tips the scales at 1,350 kilograms (2,976 pounds) whereas the heaviest one with the 52-kWh battery weighs 1,450 kilograms (3,197 pounds). Stick to the base battery and the front-mounted motor will deliver 95 hp and 215 Nm (156 lb-ft) or 120 hp and 225 Nm (166 lb-ft). Step up to the upgraded battery and the e-motor will produce 150 hp and 245 Nm (181 lb-ft), in which case 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) will take less than eight seconds while 50 to 75 mph (80 to 120 km/h) will be done in under seven seconds. Flat out, the top-spec model can do 93 mph (150 km/h).

The base battery gets you 300 kilometers of range in the WLTP combined cycle whereas the upgraded pack has enough juice for 400 kilometers. The AC maximum charging power is 11 kW, but DC is supported at 80 kW for the smaller battery and 100 kW for the bigger one. Using DC, it takes half an hour to charge from 15 to 80 percent for both batteries. It’s worth noting the entry-level Renault 5 with the 95-hp motor doesn’t offer DC charging.

Unusual for a model in this segment, EV or not, the new Renault 5 has a multi-link rear independent suspension. The cute electric city car has been engineered with bidirectional charging to power your appliances, a heat pump to quickly warm up the cabin, and brake energy recuperation to juice up the battery.

The cheapest version money can buy costs around €25,000 in Europe. At current exchange rates, that works out to approximately $27,000. Renault will make the reborn R5 at home in France and will follow up by bringing back the R4 as well. It too will be completely electric, much like the next-generation Twingo. Both have already been teased with concept cars ahead of their market launches in 2025 and 2026, respectively.

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