Renault 5 electric reboot takes centre stage in Munich


The French brand’s electric city car edges closer to its 2024 production date with a Munich motor show cameo alongside the original Renault 5.


It might not be the star of the Munich motor show, but the funky Renault 5 prototype took centre stage on the Renault stand this year alongside some of its famous forebears.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the humble Renault 5, a city car that sold in excess of nine million units between its launch in 1972, and 1996 when it was retired.

But Renault is reviving the ‘cinque’, with the new Renault 5 electric hatch set to go into production in 2024, a prototype for which was unveiled in January.

Drawing inspiration from the original, Renault’s designers have reimagined the R5 as a modern city car, blending the boxy proportions of the original with modern technologies.

A new retro-inspired Renault logo sits proudly out front, flanked by LED headlights, while underneath LED daytime running lights sit either side of an illuminated ‘RENAULT’ script.

Cleverly, the 5’s designers have tapped into some design elements of the original, but with a modern spin. The signature asymmetrical vent that appeared on the original is now a charging port flap, while the tail-light design, reminiscent of 1970s era R5s, provide an aerodynamic function.

Renault hasn’t revealed details of the R5’s powertrain, only to confirm that it will be electric. The French car maker has hinted that, thanks to the R5’s new CMF-BEV platform that will underpin a range of Renault electric vehicles (EVs), the R5 should be priced around 33 per cent more affordable than the only electric hatchback currently made by the brand, the Zoe.

Whether that translates to Australia remains to be seen, the local arm of the French brand still to confirm whether the pint-sized EV will make its way Down Under.

However, if Renault’s plan to “democratise” electric vehicles for the masses remains on track, then an Australian-delivered R5 could start at around $33,000 before on-road costs, far more affordable than the circa-$50,000 the Renault Zoe commanded when it was last on sale in Australia in 2019.

That would also see the Renault 5 become the most affordable electric car Down Under.

Rob Margeit has been an automotive journalist for over 20 years, covering both motorsport and the car industry. Rob joined CarAdvice in 2016 after a long career at Australian Consolidated Press. Rob covers automotive news and car reviews while also writing in-depth feature articles on historically significant cars and auto manufacturers. He also loves discovering obscure models and researching their genesis and history.

Read more about Rob Margeit