Renault has partnered with French EV converter R-Fit to show off R-Fit’s upcoming electrified classic Renaults. The electric cars will be shown at Renault’s booth at the vintage auto show Rétromobile.
R-Fit will be offering conversions for three of Renault’s most famous economy cars from the past century: the 4, 5 (Le Car in the U.S.) and the Renault Twingo. The first available will be the 4, with orders opening today, Feb. 1, followed by the 5 in September, and the Twingo at a later date.
R-Fit handles the entire conversion, and it doesn’t sell the components as a DIY option. It swaps out the internal combustion engine with a brushless motor of unspecified power. R-Fit simply says it’s comparable to factory output. For reference, the 4 made a little more than 20 or 30 horsepower depending on model and when it was built (they were on sale from the 1960s to the early 1990s). That motor is bolted to the factory transmission and differential. Customers can opt to keep the old engine or let R-Fit take it to refurbish or recycle parts depending on condition.
Power comes from lithium-iron phosphate batteries that have a total of 10.7 kWh of capacity. R-Fit estimates a range of 80-90 kilometers (about 50-55 miles). Charging times are about 3½ hours on a 220-volt charger.
Since R-Fit isn’t selling its system as a kit, only people who can get their cars to the company for installation can get it. That’s a bit of a bummer for owners of classic Renaults overseas. But if you’re able to get to them, the whole conversion, including parts and installation, will run 11,900 Euros, or $12,976. And in case you’re not a Renault owner, R-Fit also has kits for the Citroën 2CC.