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The Spirit of the Renault 5 Is Reborn in Electric Form

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The older among us will surely recall a time, back at the dawn of the 1980s, when the Renault 5 a staple on Quebec roads. The little 5, known colloquially in the province as the chameau (the camel) is long gone, but it left an indelible mark on a generation of motorists.

But it also made its mark on the North American market, we should add. In the United States, it was known as Le Car, and it fondly remembered there as well. Hence the excitement online today as Renault presented a new design study, called simply the 5.

The electric model presented by Renault is part of a strategy that will see the French manufacturer introduce seven such products by 2025.

Renault calls the new 5 a prototype rather than a concept, which is encouraging because it means the future production version is likely to look more or less like what we see now. The model has a design that is quite reminiscent of the Renault R5 of old. The rebirth of this icon could also mean the return of performance-oriented variants (we're thinking of an equivalent of the turbo version), especially with electric engines, so it's not too complicated.

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Renault 5 concept, profile
Photo: Renault
Renault 5 concept, profile

Renault big boss Luca de Meo confirmed that the model will be all electric and that it will be offered “at a price that many, many people will be able to afford”. Better yet, speculation is that the Renault 4 will be back as well, also in an electrified form. This car also marked the history of the company, if only because of its sheer longevity (it was sold from 1961 to 1992).

If this new 5 does indeed make it to production, we can guesstimate it will be on the market by 2023. Unfortunately, on this side of the ocean, it will have to be admired from afar – unless some things change drastically. Which has been known to happen.

Renault 5 concept, three-quarters rear
Photo: Renault
Renault 5 concept, three-quarters rear
Renault 5 concept, three-quarters front
Photo: Renault
Renault 5 concept, three-quarters front
Renault 5 concept, front wheel
Photo: Renault
Renault 5 concept, front wheel