New Renault 5 electric car: sub-£20k price suggested for reborn classic

A new small electric car inspired by the classic Renault 5 hatchback has been confirmed – and it could cost less than £20,000 when it goes on sale in 2023

Renault 5 Prototype

The reborn and fully electric Renault 5 could cost from under £20,000 and be on sale by 2023, according to the brand's CEO Luca de Meo. Speaking to DrivingElectric in late January 2021, the recently appointed boss said: "The mission of that car... is to democratise electric technology in Europe and you do that when you're able to do a competitive electric car in the range of €20,000 to €30,000 [£18,000 to £26,500]".

De Meo continued: "It has to be a car that's in that range of price; we want to make it simple, accessible and essential. It needs to be an affordable product." The Italian executive explained that he learnt a lesson when working on the third-generation Beetle at Volkswagen, adding: "if you want to stay consistent with the original position of the Renault 5, you need to do something that fits the original concept. It was a democratic product, it was a popular product."

De Meo also shared his thoughts on the future of the Clio supermini, revealing that its future probably lies outside Europe as a model for markets where combustion-engined car bans are not likely in the short to medium term. "It will be difficult to make a small car with combustion engines profitable," he explained, "you have to hybridise them with a lot of technology".

New Renault 5 electric

Renault announced that its classic small hatchback would be reincarnated as a retro-inspired electric city car in the mould of the Fiat 500Honda e and MINI Electric earlier in the month. The new model is one of seven new pure-electric Renaults arriving soon.

The company has released images of what it's calling a 'Renault 5 Prototype', giving us our first taste of what the production version of the car could look like. It mirrors the silhouette of the original 5, which was produced in two generations between 1972 and 1996, but with details like the lights and bootlid shape having been modernised.

The concept is the work of designer Gilles Vidal, who previously worked at Peugeot, where he penned a similarly retro-inspired electric concept, the E-Legend coupe. Speaking during a presentation of the 5 Prototype, Vidal said: "The design of the Renault 5 Prototype is based on a cult model of our heritage. This prototype simply embodies modernity, a vehicle relevant to its time: urban, electric, attractive."

On the prototype, the foglights of the original model have been turned into daytime running lights, while the bonnet ventilation scoop now houses the charging port. Unlike the original, which was offered in both three and five-door configurations, the new-generation Renault 5 will be a five-door model only. Still to be revealed are any details of the car's interior, as well as any specifics of its electric drivetrain or charging capabilities.

The Renault 5 news formed part of a slew of announcements from the French brand, as recently appointed new CEO Luca de Meo laid out the details of his 'Renaulution' plan to transform the company over the next number of years, switching focus from sales volume to profit.

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