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Return of a legend: The brand-new Renault 5 E-Tech

 Published 24th April 2024
Electric Vehicles  New Launches 

You’d think it would be obvious. If you’re going to add a new EV to your range it would make sense to take one of your existing models and just add electricity. If that were the case, we’d now be telling you about Renault launching an electric Clio. Instead, we’re travelling all the way back to 1972 to bring you the brand-new Renault 5 E-Tech.

Yes, you did read that right. The Renault 5 is back, and a whole generation of people are now beside themselves with a curious mix of nostalgia and excitement.

The Renault 5 was first launched in 1972 and sold in the millions before it was replaced with the Clio in 1991. Credited with starting the small car revolution, it was the first car to break the 5 litres/100km at 90km/h barrier – 56mpg at 55mph in old money. At a time when the world was struggling with an energy crisis, the original Renault 5 proved that a small car could offer a usable blend of space, practicality, and economy.

Now, here we are in 2024, and Renault is determined to prove that once again the answer to all of our problems is the brand-new Renault 5.

new renault 5 e-tech

Normally, this is where we’d say “now with added electricity” but we can’t even do that because the first electric Renault 5 also dates back to the 1970s. What we can say is that the new one can manage more than 100 miles between charges, can cruise at more than 35mph, doesn’t have the back seats removed to make room for the battery, and doesn’t take 10 hours to recharge.

What you will get with the brand-new Renault 5 E-Tech is a modern and innovative EV that takes the best bits of the old models and combines them with the latest technology.

It fuses design cues from three of the earlier models. The original Renault 5 and Supercinq have donated their overall look to the new E-Tech version, while the iconic Renault 5 Turbo has supplied the wider wings and arches that give it that aggressively square stance. The LED light signature is also reminiscent of the fog lamps from the old Turbo models, and the roof trim, vibrant colours, and deep red of the vertical rear lights reflect the original’s ability to brighten up any city.

The new Renault 5 E-Tech is definitely a city car too.

Its wheelbase is 4cm shorter than a Clio, and the reduced overhangs actually make the body 9cm shorter overall so manoeuvring around tight city streets should be a piece of cake. Despite the overall reduction in length, it still manages to offer plenty of cabin space and a sizeable boot too.

The surprisingly spacious interior also includes some of the latest technology and driver aids.

All versions boast a 10-inch central screen, hands-free access and start, wireless smartphone compatibility, an electric handbrake, and full LED headlamps with automatic high-beam switch as standard. It also lends itself to personalisation with a range of 104 accessories that you can choose from to make your Renault 5 E-Tech truly yours.

The nuts and bolts of the electric drive system are all tucked away beneath that retro surface with the new Renault 5 E-Tech range offering a choice of motors and batteries.

new renault 5 e-tech interior

The new range will be available with two different batteries, a 52kWh battery pack with a range approaching 250 miles, and a 40kWh version offering a range of around 185 miles. The batteries will be paired with two electric motors. The larger battery will drive a 150bhp motor while the smaller battery will come with a 120bhp version of the same motor.

Initially, your choice will be restricted to the larger of the two options which means you’ll be looking at a 0-60mph time of less than 8 seconds and a top speed of around 93mph. Should the mood take you, the new Renault 5 E-Tech will also be capable of towing a trailer up to 500kg.

In practical terms, both versions will be fitted with the same 11kW charger so you can easily top up the battery at home via a domestic wall charger. A full charge of the 52kW battery should take around 4.5 hours while the 40kW battery is done in around 3.5 hours. That’s more than enough time for overnight charges when you’re just commuting around town. For longer journeys, connecting it to a high-capacity public charger will take the charge from 15% to 80% in around 30 minutes.

The only downside of all of this retro-nostalgic excitement is that the new Renault 5 E-Tech range isn’t actually available to lease yet.

The new models won’t arrive in the UK until Spring 2025 so you’ve got a little while to wait before you can order one for yourself. Full specification and pricing will be announced closer to the launch date.

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