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The automotive arena went mad this week with Renault’s ‘Nouvelle Vague’ vision, projecting a new era for the brand as one centred around clean energy, technology and service. The latter is somewhat vague, but possibly refers to the aim to facilitate the change in customer behaviours – mobility being more functional and focused on changing working patterns. The brand aptly named this stage of transcendence ‘Renaulution’, which must be one of the greatest brand campaign titles to date. Ten out of ten from The Cool Classics. 

With this announcement came the crème de la crème of product launches that have taken place within the last 12 months. The new Renault 5 is the embodiment of this revolutionary crusade the brand has embarked upon. Renault 5 enthusiasts no longer need recite New Order’s True Faith lyrics – ‘’I used to think that the day would never come.’’ Renault has celebrated a variety of awards recently, with the Renault Zoe E-Tech having been crowned Affordable Electric Car of The Year 2021 and New Car Winner 2020; so, it was inevitable that the Renault 5 would be reimagined as an EV. The success of their smaller models indicates they recognise the appetite for functional, zero emissions hatchbacks. The revival of the cult cubic car could mark an end to the pandemic of obese SUVs, that provide little benefit to the urban family beyond a sense of privilege. 

The Cool Classics wanted to take a look at the design in as much details as possible from the photos released this week but before delving into some of the traits from the old 5 that have inspired new, here’s some of the spec details of the vehicle: 

  • Price:  € 25,000
  • Wheelbase: 2.54m
  • Weight: 1,500kg
  • Power Ratings: 70kw, 90kw and 110kw
  • Range: Up to 400km WLTP

Some of the quirky features brought to us by Renaulution include extensive driver aids (ADAS) like level 2 automated driving technology, a Safety Coach to reduce risks of incidents and other comfort features including a ‘smart cocoon soundproofing system and an acoustic windscreen.’ Cool right?

Renault has even created a completely new architecture or ‘skateboard’ platform for the 5, meaning that it shares very few parts with existing models and means that it is almost entirely new. With this comes some impressive electric vehicle credentials, including ‘vehicle to grid’ and ‘vehicle to Load’, meaning you sell energy back to the grid and plug and power a device like your kettle through your 5.

Inside, the designers have modelled the seats on the original RG FT Turbo, pairing sporting prowess with sustainable comfort offered by recycled materials for the Techno and Iconic Cinq trim levels. This latter will also include bio-sourced materials for the steering wheel and interior insulation. Across one manufactured R5, the company is aiming for an overall recyclability of 85%, while the entire vehicle and its components are said to be produced and assembled in France. 


Harking back to the ‘80s, we have Bertone to thank for the wide-arched ‘boxiness’ of the Renault 5 Turbo Stage 4 rally special. Penned by Marcello Gandini, the distinct flow of angular lines has clearly been a strong source of inspiration for the designers of the EV 5. 

Where Gandini gave a wide presence to the rally edition Renault 5, the designers of the new 5 have been more subtle by using sharp edges right the way around the body. With the Stage 4 edition, the exaggerated rear wheel arches housed air intakes to cool the engine and radiators which were mounted behind the driver and above the rear wheels. The new 5 does reference this one-off rally specification, with little grid style panels featuring an illuminated number ‘5’ behind the front wheel arches. When looking at the wide shapes of ‘80s automotive design – the 208GTI, Astra GTE et al. – there is a clear relationship with other industries. Take the suiting world, where wide jackets and trousers were staple – David Byrne’s outfit in Talking Heads’ live concert Stop Making Sense seizes the spirit of design in this era.

Perhaps most obviously inspired by all versions of the now classic Renault 5, is the rear lighting arrangement. The plastic covered red rear lights were positioned vertically and curved around half of the C pillar. Above this, you will find a black piece of plastic or a grid panel on the Turbo, which joins the roofline. The designers of the EV have chosen to position the rear lights in the same vertical manner, but also integrated the aesthetic of the grills from the Turbo model into the lighting design. While the prototype’s horizontal rear light strips on each side were connected by a lighting bar that swoops across the rear, taking inspiration from the Porsche Macan and Polestar Precept, the production version has done away with this. You’ll also notice the red painted coach line connects both wing mirrors on either side. Again, a nod to the red accents often found inside the revised 1988 specification GT Turbo. 

At the front of the new 5 you’ll see similar headlight placements, with the fog lights appearing at each corner protruding from the front bumper, sitting where the original mustard plastic equivalents would be located. The new 5’s fog lights also act as daytime running lights, with the circumference illuminating in a similar style to the Tron Legacy Light Cycle. The front headlights are slightly more angular than the original slanted rectangles, but with a vintage filament style to the bulb arrangement. 

What we have here then is possibly one of the best reincarnations of a classic car. BMW did it with the MINI and Fiat with the 500, but there is something quite radical about the new Renault 5. Not only from a design perspective but colours, their decision to source parts and manufacture the entire vehicle in France, and not forgetting the baguette stowage extra to pander to Parisians and give them all they need. 

If you were going to drive an electric as your daily, this could quite possibly the one to buy. In the meantime, if you’re looking to sell a classic Renault 5, list today for free.