Cars > Electric

The Renault 5 E-Tech is now a production-ready retro machine

The modern take on a classic French icon is finally hitting the roads of Europe

Kudos to the designers for keeping its shape faithful to the 2021 concept. PHOTO FROM RENAULT

In 2021, Renault first unveiled an electric concept that wore a familiar design, harking back to the Renault 5 supermini of the ’70s and the ’80s. At this year’s Geneva Motor Show, the French outfit officially returned the iconic nameplate for the next generation while retaining most of the motifs from the prototype.

Charging from 15% to 80% takes about 30 minutes. PHOTOS FROM RENAULT

The Renault 5 E-Tech brings the trapezoidal ’70s hatchback back into the 21st century, sitting on the new CMF-B EV (also known internally as AmpR Small) platform shared with the upcoming Nissan Micra. With a wheelbase of 2,540mm, it’s within the sweet spot of electric B-segment subcompacts, mainly competing with its domestic rival, the Peugeot e-208.

Two battery power options are available: 40kWh and 52kWh, with various power outputs of 94hp, 121hp and 148hp. The latter has a maximum range of 400km and a towing capacity of 500kg, a topic not usually touted by manufacturers when promoting electric B-segment hatchbacks.

You can always rely on the French to include unique features. PHOTOS FROM RENAULT

At first glance, the Renault 5’s dashboard appears similar to any other contemporary electric vehicle until you see the quirky retro twists.

The 10-inch digital instrument cluster closely resembles the analog design of the 1970s, paired with a 10-inch infotainment display connected adjacently. Some interior elements of the Renault 5 are customizable with 3D-printed parts for the column-mounted gear selector—another nod to the past—and center console tray garnish.

In true French fashion, the passenger side has an optional holder for a cylinder-shaped woven basket, where a freshly baked baguette can neatly rest.

Color choices aren't lacking. PHOTOS FROM RENAULT

The company’s virtual assistant, wittingly named Reno, makes its debut utilizing Google and ChatGPT services to provide a seamless experience. The Renault 5 has 26 distinct driver-assistance features, including active driver assist, active emergency braking, parking assist, and occupant safe exit alert.

The Renault 5 E-Tech will commence production by September 2024 for the European market. Would you like to see this retro-inspired nugget and more Renault models return to the Philippines, giving some competition to Peugeot?

Justin Young

Justin loves cars of all forms. Molded by motoring TV shows and Internet car culture, he sees the world from a different perspective that not many get to see every day.