Skip advert
Advertisement

New Renault 5 could have a 15-year lifecycle with upgrades every year

Renault is planning a long lifecycle for the Renault 5 with hardware and software improvements introduced on an annual basis

The newly reborn Renault 5 will be evolved on an annual model-year basis and could retain its basic form for a decade or more, instead of a conventional three-year facelift and seven-year life cycle, company bosses have revealed.

The FIAT 500 and MINI Cooper rival, which made its public debut at the 2024 Geneva Motor Show, is being launched with a choice of five colours and a range of accessories, including graphics, that allow greater scope for personalisation. It gets a choice of battery sizes and electric-motor outputs too. 

Advertisement - Article continues below

But senior project officials have suggested that upgrades are likely to come thick and fast for the car – not only in more obvious areas such as colour and trim, but also beneath the surface.

The first update could even be introduced before the first deliveries of the car reach the UK, in the shape of steering wheel-mounted paddles that allow different levels of brake-energy regeneration to be selected, including a mode that facilitates single-pedal driving around town. 

Laurent Leprieur, the 5’s project lead, told us, “We plan to launch other colours already. For 2025 we’ll have two more colours, including one ‘pop’ colour [like the green and yellow of the launch versions]. 

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

“But over time, we’ll also work to improve the efficiency, the price – maybe a new battery technology,” he added. “LFP chemistry [cheaper but less energy dense than the 5’s planned NMC tech] is one thing we could look for there, as an example.

“We plan to launch just a few months after the start of the sale, a one-pedal offering. It will have four regen braking levels and then the fifth one will be full stop, ‘single-pedal’ mode. We have in mind to see how we can propose this system for customers who buy the first version without it, because it’s mainly hardware.”

Advertisement - Article continues below

Renault’s boss, Luca de Meo, even hinted that this focus on under-the-skin optimisation could give the 5 a long life, like that enjoyed by the combustion-engined 500, which was introduced back in 2007 and only facelifted in 2016. “We’re not going to keep the 5 the same for seven years,” he said, “but it’s an iconic product; so we don’t want to change the design. We can change a few colours, maybe. The structure of the thing will stay the same for a long time – maybe 10, 12 even 15 years - like 500 did. But you can change everything inside.”

De Meo added that we should expect lessons learned on the forthcoming Renault 4, and particularly the even cheaper Twingo that’s due in 2026, to help make the 5 more affordable. “As we go along, if I find out I need one semiconductor instead of two, or one chip instead of two, I’m going to take it out,” he said. “All the things that we learn on the Twingo, we will roll back into 5 and 4. So you can expect 5 and 4 to come down in price. We’ve already learned things [from the Twingo project] that are relevant not just for the 5, but also for the other platform – so Megane, Scenic and so forth,”

Senior project officials have revealed some of the 5’s construction secrets, meanwhile, designed to help keep its starting price down to around £25,000 and allow an unusually short development period, between concept and start of production, of three years. The 5’s platform makes extensive use of Clio and Captur parts and geometry up front, and the design of multi-link back axle – necessary because a cheaper torsion beam would have forced a longer wheelbase to accommodate the larger of the two battery packs – relies heavily on proven parts from the four-wheel-drive Dacia Duster.

Now read the latest news from the 2024 Geneva Motor Show...

Skip advert
Advertisement
Editor-at-large

John started journalism reporting on motorsport – specifically rallying, which he had followed avidly since he was a boy. After a stint as editor of weekly motorsport bible Autosport, he moved across to testing road cars. He’s now been reviewing cars and writing news stories about them for almost 20 years.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

"BYD, Dacia, MG and Renault are among the most impressive and in-touch car brands in the world"
Opinion - MG3
Opinion

"BYD, Dacia, MG and Renault are among the most impressive and in-touch car brands in the world"

Mike Rutherford is confused as to why so many car manufacturers avoided the 2024 Geneva Motor Show
3 Mar 2024
BMW Isetta-inspired Microlino EV coming to the UK, and we’ve driven it!
Microlino Lite - Geneva front
News

BMW Isetta-inspired Microlino EV coming to the UK, and we’ve driven it!

The tiny Microlino and the new Microlino Lite electric cars have been given the green light for UK sales
1 Mar 2024
New Renault 5: price, specs, launch and on sale dates
Renault 5 - front
News

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...
28 Feb 2024
Geneva Motor Show 2024: full show round-up and all the cars
Geneva Motor Show 2024 - header
News

Geneva Motor Show 2024: full show round-up and all the cars

Less extensive than it once was, the Geneva Motor Show 2024 still brought some interesting new models
27 Feb 2024

Most Popular

‘Dacia Zen’ seven-year warranty brings added peace of mind
Dacia Duster - tailgate
News

‘Dacia Zen’ seven-year warranty brings added peace of mind

The value brand’s new warranty is also available on used cars, as well as for existing Dacia customers
16 Apr 2024
Car Deal of the Day: Mercedes EQC offers luxury EV motoring for £327 a month
Mercedes EQC - front cornering
News

Car Deal of the Day: Mercedes EQC offers luxury EV motoring for £327 a month

Mercedes’s EQC showed that the German firm was serious about electric cars and it’s our Car Deal of the Day for Monday 15 April
15 Apr 2024
Toyota Yaris vs Renault Clio 2024 twin test: hybrid supermini battle
Toyota Yaris vs Renault Clio E-Tech - front tracking
Car group tests

Toyota Yaris vs Renault Clio 2024 twin test: hybrid supermini battle

With more and more electrified rivals arriving, Toyota has given its hybrid-only Yaris a facelift. We put it up against Renault’s class-leading Clio.
13 Apr 2024