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New Renault 5: price, specs, launch and on sale dates

The much-loved Renault 5 is back in action as a brand new electric car. Here's everything you need to know about it...

The Renault 5 E-Tech has finally been revealed at the 2024 Geneva Motor Show, following a long wait after the Renault 5 concept was revealed all the way back in 2021. Unusually, the production version isn’t all that different and features many of the same styling cues taken from the classic Renault 5 of the 1970s.

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The new version of the Renault 5 will be a rival for the Fiat 500 and MINI Electric, both models that take after classic city cars and have been very successful over the years with their retro design themes. Following on from the reveal of the latest version of the smaller Renault Twingo, it’s clear now that the new 5 (or R5) will compete with the 500 and MINI for customers looking for a trendy, upmarket small electric car.

It will use technology from the Renault Clio and Renault Captur, although the new 5 uses a platform called AmpR Small that’s made for electric cars only - so it’s not just a Clio with a retro-styled body. It’s only 3.92m long, which is shorter than many of the conventional electric superminis that it will compete with.

There will be two battery options in the Renault 5, yielding versions with 121bhp and 148bhp motor outputs for UK buyers, the latter able to get from 0-62mph in under eight seconds. Range is likely to be from 186 to 249 miles depending on the battery size; read on below to see more details on the technical specifications.

Ahead of the reveal, Renault announced the ‘R5 R Pass’ for £150. It’s something like a paid pre-order, which allows you to spec your car 10 days before orders open to the general public and have a priority build slot. You also get a model of the car and some other benefits.

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Read on to find out everything you need to know about the reborn Renault 5 EV in our comprehensive guide to this exciting new model.

Renault 5 price and release date

The Renault 5 will cost from 25,000 Euros in France, according to the maker, but there’s no word on a price for UK cars yet. It’s likely that British buyers won’t have access to the least powerful model in the range that will be available in France. That could push the Renault 5 price up to around £30,000 here. That kind of level would still undercut rivals such as the MINI Electric.

As for the Renault 5 release date, we expect to see cars arrive in the UK from early 2025, just under a year on from the reveal at the 2024 Geneva Motor Show.

Renault bosses have also hinted that the Renault 5 is destined for a long lifespan of up to 15 years and will get regular updates each year rather than being the same for a few years then getting a big ‘facelift’. The model will follow the lead of models like the Fiat 500, which remained almost the same for many years before a significant update. When the design is right from the start, there’s less reason to make huge changes and more incentive to continually improve the car.

How will the new Renault 5 look?

The original Renault 5 concept was a delightful little EV that had us all swooning when it was unveiled in 2021. It represents the start of a new era for Renault, as it taps into its vast heritage to create what it hopes will become future classics, starting with the production version of the internet-breaking Renault 5 show car. 

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The good news is that the production car looks just like the brilliant concept. It shares the concept’s chunky proportions and compact five-door body, with only a few small changes to the profile. Its 18-inch wheels and short wheelbase help to keep this production version as good-looking as the concept car.

There are some changes, such as the headlights. They’re designed to give the production car a more appealing face and reference Manga comic characters. They can even ‘wink’ at you as you approach the car, using the LEDs inside.

The retro looks continue with something that looks like an air intake on the bonnet, but with this being an electric car there’s no use for one of those. Usefully, here it’s a small screen that displays charging information - so it has a real function as well as adding to the car’s design.

The front doors use normal door handles, but the rear door handles are hidden in the pillar. It’s nothing special as many cars do this, but it certainly helps to keep the car looking more like the original three-door Renault 5 while still offering a practical five-door body style. At the rear, there’s no Renault badge; it’s just a ‘5’ logo set to the right-hand side, which gives it a really unique look.

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The five colour options at launch will be white, black, dark blue, yellow and metallic green. The 18-inch wheels come in different styles and there will even be further customisation options for buyers to choose.

What about the interior?

The inside of the new Renault 5 model is much more conventional than the outside. There are some motifs that reference the original Renault 5 plus modern touches such as a denim material made from recycled PET bottles and an eye-catching yellow recycled fabric on the seats as well.

There’s a seven-inch digital instrument panel in entry-level cars, or a 10-inch one on higher-spec versions, while all get a 10-inch central infotainment system. Trim levels are called Evolution, Techno and Iconic Cinq, and standard kit includes keyless entry and start, 18-inch alloys, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and LED headlights. 

Higher-spec Techno models come with Google integration in the infotainment system, a reversing camera and wireless smartphone charging. Top-spec Iconic Cinq adds heated seats and steering wheel plus front and rear parking sensors.

While the cabin is a little small - not a surprise given the short wheelbase and compact dimensions - the Renault 5 boot is a decent 326 litres, around 60 litres less than in the roomy Clio supermini.

What do we know about the Renault 5's platform, batteries and range?

The new Renault 5 will be the first vehicle to launch based on the AmpR Small platform, previously called CMF-BEV. It’s a bespoke electric car architecture, and has been specifically designed for smaller EVs. This platform will also serve as the underpinnings for the new Renault 4 – a retro-inspired small SUV – the new Nissan Micra, and potentially the new Renault Twingo, too.

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When the new Renault 5 launches it will only be available with a 52kWh battery that will offer a range of up to 249 miles on a single charge. However, in time the Renault 5 will also be available with a smaller 40kWh battery, which is likely to provide closer to 186 miles of range but will be more affordable.

Expect 80kW DC charging for the smaller battery model and 100kW for the 52kWh version. A 15-80 per cent top-up will take just under half an hour, and it’s likely that UK cars will all come with a heat pump as standard, which should keep the car’s range more consistent.

The new R5 will be the first all-electric Renault to feature vehicle-to-grid (V2G) compatibility, which will be able to intelligently feed electricity back into your home when electricity tariffs are high, or even into the grid itself if demand requires it.

There’s no negative effect on battery life according to Renault, with the service being available through a home-installed wallbox terminal designed by Mobilize and accompanied by a special electricity contract. The V2G system will be available in 2024 in France and Germany, before arriving in the UK in 2025. Some electricity suppliers will offer discounts if your car has this.

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The Renault 5 will be built in Douai, France by Ampere – a separate company within the Renault Group that’s focused solely on designing, engineering and manufacturing electric vehicles.

What kind of performance and drive can we expect?

There will be an entry-level 94bhp motor in some markets, but in the UK we’ll only get the more powerful 121bhp and 148bhp motors. These have 225Nm and 245Nm of torque respectively, and the latter is able to take the R5 from 0-62mph in under eight seconds. That’s for the larger-battery model, which is around 1,500kg. According to Renault, 50-75mph is possible in less than seven seconds and the car will reach a top speed of 93mph.

We’ve already driven a Clio-bodied Renault 5 prototype ahead of the production car’s 2024 arrival and, although it was far from a finished product, this has helped give some insight into what this electric supermini will be like to drive. Direct steering, a stable chassis and an impressive braking system were all highlights of the prototype R5’s performance. The motor also feels like it produces a plentiful amount of torque but, due to the traction control system still undergoing development, the car struggled to maintain tyre grip in the snowy test conditions.

The R5 is fitted with a brake-by-wire system, but this offered reasonable pedal feedback even though it is not directly connected to the brakes. Every Renault 5 will also feature high-spec, multi-link rear suspension as standard, and a high-performance version called the Alpine A290 will be unveiled in June 2024.

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Renault won’t fall into the same upsizing trap as many manufacturers. At the 2021 Munich Motor Show, Renault's Chief Technology Officer, Gilles Le Borgne told us: “This will be a small car at 3.92m. Today, most of the big cars – Clio included – are between 4m and 4.05m. We have decided to go to 3.9 to be agile and be fit for downtown in the city.”

What will the new Renault 5 mean for the Clio?

In 2021, Renault boss Luca De Meo explained the Renault 5’s positioning to Auto Express, saying: “The mission of that car goes beyond Renault. The mission of the project is to democratise electric technology in Europe – and you do that when you are able to make a competitive electric car in the range of €20,000 to €30,000, making money, obviously.

“It has to be a car that is in that range of price. We want to make it simple, accessible and essential. It needs to be an affordable product.”

But, by aiming the Renault 5 at the supermini segment, Renault has raised some questions about the future of the Clio. De Meo recognised the matter and hinted that it could soon become a car designed solely for markets where combustion engines are still allowed.

“I’m asking myself what to do with the next-generation Clio,” he said. “What kind of concept does it need to be? Where are the markets? What kind of customer?

“I think we still have time and technical options. But if you think about the European perimeter, it will be difficult to make a small car with combustion engines profitable. You have to hybridise them with a lot of technology.

“In the A segment it’s already happening where the only possibility to compete and to be profitable is having an electric version. That’s why we have the Twingo and the Dacia Spring. And when the water goes up, the next one will be the B segment. Maybe there will be other markets where cars like a combustion-engined B-segment car will be successful, but not in Europe.”

In the market for an electric car? Read our run-down of the best EVs on sale

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