• Renault has unveiled a new concept car that previews a future EV hatchback.
  • Its styling is reminiscent of the Renault 5, which was sold in the U.S. as the Le Car.
  • The French automaker is planning to launch seven EVs by 2025.

    As the auto industry rushes towards a brave new future, it is becoming strangely keen to reference the past. We already know that Volkswagen is working on an EV reimagining of its original Microbus, and now French automaker Renault has shown a new electric hatchback paying very obvious homage to the Renault 5 hatchback that was sold in the U.S. as the Le Car between 1976 and 1983.

    The 5 concept was unveiled at an event in France where Renault joined the increasing number of European automakers committing to rapid electrification, with boss Luca de Meo saying the company is set to launch seven EVs by 2025, with 30 percent of its total production anticipated to be fully electric by the same time. The 5 concept will presumably become one of these—although production hasn’t been officially confirmed, the official line is that “it demonstrates how Renault will democratize the electric car in Europe with a modern approach influenced by one of the most popular and essential cars of its era.”

    renault 5 ev prototype

    Renault

    It’s certainly cute. Although the concept has gained more muscular contours than its slab-sided predecessor, it retains the original’s combination of trapezoidal headlights, a steeply raked tailgate, and taillights integrated into the C-pillars. Hidden door handles at the back disguise the fact that it is actually a four-door. The company hasn’t released any images of an interior. We’re told that the charging port is on the front fender, where the later “SuperCinq” 5 had a distinctive air intake, and that the Renault logos front and rear illuminate. The blistered wheel arches and red stripe kit also pay tribute to the Renault 5 GT Turbo, a car that introduced many Europeans to torque steer.

    renault 5

    renault 5 ev prototype

    Renault

    What’s missing is any information on the powertrain, performance, or range. We can be sure that any production version of this new 5 will use much more modern underpinnings than the existing Zoe EV hatchback's, which was launched in 2012. The concept’s proportions suggest it features front-wheel drive rather than rear-wheel drive, and trunk space looks fairly minimal, but we will have to wait for any further details.

    Renault hasn’t sold cars in the U.S. since 1987 and the company has no publicly stated plans to return. Which is a shame, as we like the idea of a Federalized take on this stylish baby EV – we could call it Le Eco Car.

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