New Renault 5 E-Tech revealed as funky and ‘affordable’ new EV hatch

Published Feb 26, 2024


Remember that cute little Renault 5 hatchback from the ‘70s and 80s? Now it’s back, or should we say reincarnated as an electric car for the 21st century.

Although we’ve already seen it in concept form, Renault has now revealed the production version at the Geneva Motor Show.

There’s no word yet on whether it is under consideration for South Africa, but either way it’s likely that our unfair tax structure for EVs would make it difficult to price competitively.

The new Renault 5 E-Tech, to give you its full name, is being touted as a funky and affordable electric car option in Europe, where it will reportedly be priced from around 25,000 euro (R524,000).

It’s the first product to be built on the company’s new AmpR Small chassis, which is optimised for compact EVs while still sharing components with Renault's ICE engined models in order to achieve efficiencies of scale.

It’s not exactly tiny, with an overall length of 3.92 metres making the 5 nearly as big as a Clio 3. Thanks to efficient EV packaging, with the batteries placed underfloor, Renault says its interior space is comparable to the latest Clio 5. It’s also fairly light for an EV, with Renault targeting a weight of under 1,500kg.

Buyers will get to choose between two electric motor options at launch (90kW or 110kW) but those seeking more power will have to wait for the Alpine performance versions, which are set to arrive at a later date.

Renault is also offering two battery options, with the smaller 40kWh allowing a claimed WLTP range of 300km and the larger 52kWh unit enabling up to 400km. Both use NMC (Nickel Manganese Cobalt) technology, which claims to provide the best energy density on the market today, and DC fast charging at up to 100kW is possible.

To make the most of its retro-inspired styling, the new Renault 5 E-Tech will be available in a range of funky new colours, including eye-catching options like Pop Yellow and Pop Green, and all models have 18-inch wheels as standard. It also boasts modern lighting signatures, including headlights that wink at the driver as they approach.

The cabin was designed to evoke even more nostalgia, with the rectangle instrument cluster and ribbed dashboard surfaces harking back to earlier R5s. It still packs all the expected modern stuff, including a horizontal dual screen interface and built-in Google software in the range-topping versions, which will give users access to up to 50 apps, some unique to the vehicle.

Oh, and this is also the first Renault vehicle to feature the “Reno” avatar, which is described as a virtual travelling companion with a real personality. But more than just a cute gimmick the avatar, which has built-in Chat GPT, was designed to answer numerous questions about the car and take practical action, such as scheduling a charge or helping drivers maximise their range.