Renault’s top boss has confirmed the reborn Renault 5 will start from €25,000 in Europe, suggesting a circa-£30k price in the UK
We’ve been waiting with bated breath for the reveal of the road-going Renault 5 since the original heartwarming concept was unveiled at the beginning of 2021, but we won’t have to wait much longer as the production-ready model will be taking centre stage at the 2024 Geneva Motor Show next February.
Sales are expected to begin not long after. At the unveiling of the 5’s even cheaper zero-emissions city car cousin, the reborn Renault Twingo, the firm’s CEO Luca De Meo announced the reborn Renault 5 will start from €25,000 in Europe, where incentives for EVs are still available.
Without them, the all-electric Renault 5 is likely to start from closer to £30,000 in the UK. Nevertheless, it’ll still be among the cheapest electric cars on sale and undercut its most direct rivals like the new MINI Cooper and Peugeot E-208 that currently start from £30,000 and £32,400, respectively.
New Renault 5 design
The reborn Renault 5 represents a new era for the brand as Renault taps into its vast heritage to create what it hopes will become a future classic. In the path to production, all manufacturers go through multiple phases of prototyping, and now Renault has given us a glimpse of the process, showing off final validation prototypes of its new all-electric baby.
Built within Renault’s Paris-based Prototype Build Centre, these new test cars will be shipped all around the world to complete final testing in all sorts of conditions to ensure the product that goes on sale to customers next year is as ship-shape as possible. What it also does, though, is give us our clearest indication yet of what to expect when the production model is revealed in a few months time.
Renault has indeed kept the production model very close to the R5 Concept it revealed at the beginning of 2021. We can clearly see that it will share the concept’s chunky proportions and compact five-door body, with only subtle changes on the path towards productionisation, such as the use of traditional front-door handles, standard wing mirrors and smaller wheels.
The new 5 will be the first vehicle based on the Renault-Nissan Alliance’s CMF-B EV platform, which has been specifically designed for smaller electric vehicles. This platform will also be used by the new Renault 4 – a retro-inspired compact SUV – along with the new Nissan Micra.
The brand is claiming up to 249 miles of range for the R5’s larger 52kWh battery pack, which will also likely come with a higher starting price. However Renault’s executive vice president for engineering, Gilles Le Borgne, confirmed to us that the entry-level model will be fitted with a 40kWh battery, which will offer a more moderate maximum range but will also be more affordable.
Charging is likely to be similar to that of the Megane E-Tech, which offers up to 130kW rapid-charging speeds – this should allow up to 124 miles of range to be added in around 30 minutes.
The new 5 will be the first all-electric Renault to feature vehicle-to-grid (V2G) compatibility, which will be able to intelligently feed electricity back into your home when electricity tariffs are high, or even into the grid itself if demand requires it. There’s no negative effect on battery life according to Renault, with the service being available through a home-installed wallbox terminal designed by Mobilize and accompanied by a special electricity contract. The V2G system will be available in 2024 in France and Germany, before arriving in the UK in 2025.
New 2024 Renault 5: drive and performance
Not only is the new Renault 5 intended to be budget-friendly, but Renault also wants it to be fun to drive, just like its ancestors.
We’ve already driven a Clio-bodied Renault 5 prototype ahead of the production car’s 2024 arrival and, although it was far from a finished product, this has helped give some insight into what this electric supermini will be like to drive.
Direct steering, a stable chassis and an impressive braking system were all highlights of the prototype 5’s performance. The motor also feels like it produces a plentiful amount of torque but, due to the traction control system still undergoing development, the car struggled to maintain tyre grip in the snowy test conditions.
The 5 is fitted with a brake-by-wire system, but this offered reasonable pedal feedback even though it is not directly connected to the brakes.
New 2024 Renault 5: design
The new Renault 5 will draw heavy inspiration from its ancestors, sharing the same boxy silhouette and square front end. However, the firm’s designers have modernised features such as the headlamps, the bootlid and the tail-lights.
It’ll be a five-door electric supermini, with hidden door handles in the C-pillar and rear doors that are flush-fit with the quarter panels to give the illusion of a three-door body style. The flared wheel arches are also a nod to the more extreme Turbo I and II variants of the original Renault 5, which were homologated for world rallying – a hotter Alpine-badged version will be part of the new lineup and Renault has even let us drive a one-off Turbo 3E drift car concept.
Renault won’t fall into the same upsizing trap as many manufacturers. At the 2021 Munich Motor Show, Le Borgne told us: “This will be a small car at 3.92m. Today, most of the big cars – Clio included – are between 4m and 4.05m. We have decided to go to 3.9 to be agile and be fit for downtown in the city.”
The Renault 5 prototype is the work of designer Gilles Vidal, who Renault headhunted from PSA following his efforts with the similarly retro Peugeot E-Legend concept from 2019.
“The design of the Renault 5 Prototype is based on the R5 – a cult model of our heritage. This prototype simply embodies modernity, a vehicle relevant to its time: urban, electric, attractive,” said Vidal, pointing to the prototype’s similar lines and flush surfacing.
Some styling elements from the original Renault 5 have been repurposed to suit modern motoring. For instance, the bonnet air intake hides the charging hatch, and the fog lights in the lower front bumper are actually daytime running lights. These features could find their way onto the production-ready model.
No official interior shots have been revealed, but the cabin appears to be a minimalist environment, with only a transparent digital instrument panel visible on top of the dashboard.
What will the new Renault 5 mean for the Clio?
In 2021, Renault boss Luca De Meo explained the Renault 5’s positioning to Auto Express, saying: “The mission of that car goes beyond Renault. The mission of the project is to democratise electric technology in Europe – and you do that when you are able to make a competitive electric car in the range of €20,000 to €30,000, making money, obviously.
“It has to be a car that is in that range of price. We want to make it simple, accessible and essential. It needs to be an affordable product.”
But, by aiming the Renault 5 at the supermini segment, Renault has raised some questions about the future of the Clio. De Meo recognised the matter and hinted that it could soon become a car designed solely for markets where combustion engines are still allowed.
“I’m asking myself what to do with the next-generation Clio,” he said. “What kind of concept does it needs to be? Where are the markets? What kind of customer?
“I think we still have time and technical options. But if you think about the European perimeter, it will be difficult to make a small car with combustion engines profitable. You have to hybridise them with a lot of technology.
“In the A segment it’s already happening where the only possibility to compete and to be profitable is having an electric version. That’s why we have the Twingo and the Dacia Spring. And when the water goes up, the next one will be the B segment. Maybe there will be other markets where cars like a combustion-engined B-segment car will be successful, but not in Europe.”
In the market for an electric car? Read our run-down of the best EVs on sale…
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