New Renault 5: price, specs, launch and on sale dates
The reborn Renault 5 will be fully revealed on 26 February at the 2024 Geneva Motor Show. Here's everything you need to know…
We don’t have long to wait until the all-new all-electric Renault 5 E-Tech takes centre stage at the 2024 Geneva Motor Show, with the big reveal scheduled to take place on 26 February.
We’ve been waiting with bated breath to lay eyes on the reborn Renault 5 since the brand unveiled the heart-warming concept car at the beginning of 2021. Thankfully we won’t have to wait much longer to see the production-ready model, which is then due to go on sale in the summer.
At the unveiling of the Renault 5’s even cheaper zero-emissions city car cousin, the cut-price Renault Twingo, the firm’s CEO Luca de Meo announced the Renault 5 will start from €25,000 in Europe, where incentives for EVs are still available. Without those incentives, the all-electric Renault 5 will probably start from closer to £30,000 in the UK.
Nevertheless, it’ll still be among the cheapest electric cars on sale, undercutting direct rivals like the new MINI Cooper and Peugeot E-208 that currently start from £30,000 and £32,650, respectively. Sadly, the very first examples of the new Renault 5 aren’t due to arrive in the UK until early 2025.
If you want to be among the first people to get their hands on the new R5, Renault is offering what it calls the ‘R5 R Pass’ for £150. Customers who buy one will be able to configure their car 10 days before orders open to the general public and have a priority build slot when production begins. Plus, when the R5 is finally revealed, they’ll receive a scale model of the new car, and have first access to content and launch events.
How will the new Renault 5 look?
The original Renault 5 concept was a delightful little EV that had us all swooning over our computer screens 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.
And the good news is that the production car should look a lot like the concept. Based on some spy shots, pictures of body shells on the production line, validation prototypes, patent image and official teasers of France’s all-electric bundle of joy, it's clear the road-going Renault 5 closely follows the form of that original concept car.
Patent images that surfaced online last year clearly show that the production Renault 5 will share the concept’s chunky proportions and compact five-door body, while a Renault badge will take pride of place on the car’s nose, flanked by a set of distinctive LED headlights.
Meanwhile teaser images shared by Renault reveal the headlights will have tiny French flag motifs in the corners and that the vertically stacked tail-lights forgo a traditional lens cover. We can also see the new Renault 5 badge on the black strip connecting those rear lights and the novel external charging indicator light located on the bonnet.
Some subtle changes have been made during the long gestation from concept to production car, with the Renault 5 set to feature traditional front-door handles, not pop-out ones like the concept’s, as well as more ordinary door mirrors and smaller wheels. The charging port will be located just behind the front wheelarch, like it is on the bigger Renault Megane E-Tech, while the rear-door handles are tucked up in the C-pillar for a cleaner look.
The teaser images also highlight the three eye-catching launch colours for the Renault 5: bright yellow — the same shade as the original concept — deep blue and vibrant green.
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-B EV. 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.
When the new Renault 5 launches it will only be available with a 52kWh battery that will offer a range of up to 248 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 200 miles of range but will be more affordable.
We expect rapid charging speeds are likely to be similar to that of the Megane E-Tech, which can reach up to 130kW, but that’s yet to be confirmed. We do know that 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.
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?
Not only is the new Renault 5 intended to be budget-friendly, but Renault also wants it to be fun to drive, just like its ancestors.
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.
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.” It’s since been confirmed that the reborn Renault 5 will measure just 3.92 metres long – roughly the same length as its archrival from across the channel, the new three-door MINI Cooper.
What can we learn from the 2021 R5 Concept?
The Renault 5 prototype is the work of designer Gilles Vidal, who Renault headhunted from PSA following his efforts with the similarly retro Peugeot E-Legend concept from 2019.
“The design of the Renault 5 Prototype is based on the R5 – a cult model of our heritage. This prototype simply embodies modernity, a vehicle relevant to its time: urban, electric, attractive,” said Vidal, pointing to the prototype’s similar lines and flush surfacing.
Some styling elements from the original Renault 5 were repurposed to suit modern motoring. For instance, the bonnet air intake hides the charging hatch, and the fog lights in the lower front bumper are actually daytime running lights. These features have found their way onto the production-ready model.
No official interior shots of any Renault 5 have been revealed, but the cabin appears to be a minimalist environment, with only a transparent digital instrument panel visible on top of the dashboard.
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 needs 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…