It’s almost 40 years but the funky Renault 5 is back, reinvented to bring some sparkle to the world of compact electric vehicles.

Due to go on sale in Europe later this year, Renault Australia is hoping to get its hands on the car for our market — but there’s no date yet.

The original Renault 5 achieved more than 5.5 million sales across five continents, from 1972 to 1985.

The Renault 5 E-Tech electric remains faithful to the 2021 concept, with cues to the past.

Yet it’s the epitome of modernity, from its all-electric AmpR small car platform through to its agile handling and cool, new technology.

That includes the Reno avatar, a new virtual travelling companion.

Reno supports and interacts with drivers, both inside and outside the car.

For example, you could ask: “Hey Reno, schedule a charge for 8am tomorrow” or “Hey Reno, how can I increase the range of my car?” 

Reno can also anticipate user needs with suggestions to adjust certain vehicle settings.

It can close the windows for better air circulation and to control the air purifier, setting the air conditioning in re-circulation mode if it detects an increase in pollution — or switching from Sport to Eco mode in a traffic jam.

Last, with the integration of the artificial intelligence app Chat GPT, Reno can also answer many other questions in a smooth, conversational way.

Renault 5 E-Tech electric is the first car to be built on AmpR Small, the new all-electric platform developed to showcase its iconic design, with no trade-off in performance.

Designed for the city and beyond, it offers a choice of motors and batteries, reflecting the intended use of the car.

There’s a 90kW version and 110kW model with a range of up to 400km (WLTP) and DC charging up to 100kW.

The latter accelerates from 0 to 100km/h in under 8.0 seconds. 

Renault 5 E-Tech electric will be available with two different-sized lithium-ion batteries.

The biggest, which will be the only one available at market launch, has a capacity of 52kWh and range of up to 400km (WLTP).

The second is rated at 90kW with a capacity of 40kWh for a range of up to 300km (WLTP).

Both use NMC (Nickel Manganese Cobalt) technology, designed to improve density without increasing size.

For improved performance in all conditions, the battery is equipped with a liquid cooling system to regulate its temperature.

For greater safety, the cooling fluid does not circulate inside the casing but through the extruded floor.

Finally, when charging the vehicle, charging time can be optimised by pre-conditioning the battery and planning the journey using Google Maps.

With an 11kW AC charging point, the 52kWh battery will take 4 hrs 30 minutes to charge from 10 to 100 per cent.

The 40kWh battery will take an hour less.

For DC fast charging, the 110kW powertrain has a 100kW DC socket to charge the 52kWh battery.

The 90kW powertrain is equipped with an 80kW DC socket to charge the 40kWh battery.

In both cases, it will take just 30 minutes to charge the battery from 15 to 80 per cent.

The electric motor uses Renault’s preferred technology: wound rotor synchronous.

As it has no permanent magnets, it uses no rare earths, thereby reducing its environmental impact.

The magnets are replaced by copper coils, with the wires being ordered and routed in such a way as to withstand the centrifugal force of the rotor.

Based directly on the motor of Megane E-Tech electric and Scenic E-Tech electric, Renault 5 E-Tech electric also benefits from the experience acquired with other electric motors, such as on Zoe, in terms of durability.

It also gains several new features, including new-generation power electronics (inverter) and reworked reduction gear.

The difference can be seen in size and weight.

Positioned between Clio II and Clio III, Renault 5 E-Tech electric is just 3920mm long.

It rivals Clio V for interior space, thanks to its AmpR Small platform and 2.54m wheelbase.

The battery is placed under the floor to provide generous boot capacity of 326 litres.

This places the car at the top end of the electric city car segment, and even ahead of several bigger traditional ICE-powered city cars.

Easy to access with its high floor, the boot can also be divided using the 60-40 split/fold three-seater rear bench.

A further 19 litres of storage capacity is provided by various compartments around the cabin.

This space can be configured and customised using 3D-printed accessories, including a tongue-in-cheek baguette holder.


CHECKOUT: Renault Arkana: One for the Francophiles

CHECKOUT: Megane E-Tech a first for Renault


About Chris Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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