France’s EV ‘Renaulution’: Renault revives its beloved supermini as all-electric 5 E-Tech


France’s EV ‘Renaulution’: Renault revives its beloved supermini as all-electric 5 E-Tech

There were several notable EU-centric EV debuts today during the Geneva International Motor Show, including an all-electric supermini from Renault called the 5 E-Tech. The French automaker has revived the nameplate for the all-electric age, with hopes it will soon dominate its class overseas.

Long before today’s debut of an all-electric version, the original Renault 5 was produced from 1972 to 1994, exceeding 5.5 million total vehicles produced. The supermini was wildly popular in its native country, reigning as France’s best-selling car from 1972-1986.

Following two generations of designs that included several variants, including an Alpine “hot hatch,” the last 5 rolled off Renault’s assembly lines 30 years ago. Renault proclaimed its original 1970s version of the 5 turned heads with its original, modern design as one of the first-ever superminis, offering consumers a compact, cost-friendly option.

To recapture those emotions for the all-electric future, Renault teased a show car of the 5 in January 2021, ahead of a production-ready design to come. Today, Renault unveiled the new all-electric supermini and donned the 5 E-Tech.

Renault unveils all-electric 5 E-Tech in Geneva

The 5 E-Tech debuted today as an all-electric pillar in Renault’s “Renaulution” recovery strategy, in which the French automaker looks to regather a larger piece of the EU vehicle market and sell more locally made vehicles.

Renault Group and Ampere worked together to reimagine the 5, not as a vintage or nostalgic nod to the originals, but as a contemporary electric vehicle that delivers its own unique “retrofuturistic design” that evokes emotion and piques interest – much like the original did over 50 years ago.

The Renault 5 E-Tech is the first to be designed and built atop Ampere’s new B-segment EV platform, called AmpR Small. The bespoke platform allows for a flat floor, a 2.54-meter wheelbase, and a cargo capacity of 326 liters. All while maintaining a lower center of gravity and limited weight (1,500kg/3,300 lbs).

AmpR Small helped Renault cut the new 5 E-Tech’s development down to three years and enabled fresh technologies such as bidirectional charging, vehicle-to-grid (V2G), and Plug & Charge capabilities. Renault Group CEO Luca de Meo spoke about the automaker’s latest debut:

Renault 5 E-Tech electric is a car unlike any other. Its release coincides with a major shift by millions of Europeans towards a new mobility which is electric, connected, and sustainable. It also triggered the transformation of Renault Group into a next-generation automotive company.

To develop this car in just three years in France, to the highest technological standard, all our decisions had to be disruptive, and our organization as agile as possible. We were the first ones to make a bet on a 100% electric platform for a small European car, to optimize costs across the value chain, to relocate our industrial ecosystem… Only an iconic car could bring our teams together in this way and move the needle internally.

In the face of significant change in our industry, this car paves a new way for Renault. It’s at the heart of the battle to reinvent European industry against competition coming from the East and the West. With this vehicle, we’re proving that production in Europe, in France, really is possible!

Renault says the 5 E-Tech will become available in three different electric motor configurations, offering 70 kW, 90 kW, or 110 kW of power, and its max battery size of 52 kWh will deliver a WLTP range of up to 400km (249 miles). It can even tow a trailer with a capacity of up to 500kg.

Renault said its new electric spin on the 5 will start competitively priced at around €25,000 ($27,100). The EVs will be built in France and officially launch in September 2024. Watch the full debut at the Geneva International Motor Show in the video below:

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