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New Renault 5 unveiled – meet the basis for Alpine’s electric hot hatch

The all-electric 2024 Renault 5 E-Tech supermini has been unveiled in production form, previewing its hot Alpine A290 relative

Renault has unveiled its production-ready 5 supermini at the 2024 Geneva motor show. Coming three years after the concept first made its debut, the model is set to hit the road in 2025 as a B-segment replacement for the Zoe. While its underpinnings couldn’t be any more different, the new Renault 5 hopes to replicate the success of the iconic 1972 original with competitive pricing and a bold design.

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The new 5 will form the basis of the forthcoming Alpine A290 hot hatch, and if our first drive of an A290 prototype is anything to go by, the package could liven up the EV driving experience with some classic hot hatch handling traits. 

> Alpine A290 prototype review – first taste of the electric hot hatch

Launched as the first model built around Renault’s AmpR architecture, the 5 adopts a typical EV skateboard layout, with batteries under the floor for optimum weight distribution and a lower centre of gravity. The 5 gets multi-link rear suspension – rare in this class – and a quick-ratio steering rack, along with a new braking system designed to improve pedal feel while blending regenerative braking more seamlessly with the friction brakes.

Two powertrain options will be available, starting with an entry-level 40kWh battery pack and 120bhp motor combination – torque is rated at 166lb ft. At the top of the range (for now) is a 52kWh battery option, fitted with a more powerful 150bhp, 181lb ft motor for a sub-8sec 0-62mph time and 93mph top speed. 

Both models are powered by a single front-mounted motor, but opting for the smaller 40kWh battery saves 100kg, bringing kerb weight down to around 1350kg to sit in-line with the Fiat 500e. The larger 52kWh battery pack will be the only option at launch, with the smaller battery offered later.

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From a full charge, the new Renault 5 is said to cover a maximum of 248 miles (WLTP) when fitted with the larger 52kWh battery pack, dropping to 186 miles for the entry-level car – for comparison, the Fiat 500e extracts 199 miles from its 42kWh pack.

Given its all-new architecture, Renault has taken the opportunity to fit the 5 with the latest liquid-cooled nickel manganese cobalt batteries. The benefit of this is improved energy density, with the 52kh battery pack requiring only four separate internal modules as opposed to the 12 of the Megane E-Tech, providing a marginal weight saving and a boost in range. 

Given the 5’s budget-conscious positioning, Renault has opted for a 400V electrical architecture as opposed to an 800V system, but thanks to 100kW charging capability topping up to 80 per cent takes just 30 minutes. Vehicle-to-grid and vehicle-to-load functionalities are also supported – a first for an E-Tech model.

The production Renault 5 remains true to the popular concept of 2021, with a purposeful, square stance and clear references to its forefather. Its lightning signature is distinctive and modern, with its vertical rear and ‘floating’ front lighting optics all LED as standard. Large 18-inch wheels (with 195-section tyres) are standard with each of the three trim levels and powertrains, pushed to each corner and flush with the bodywork. The iconic bonnet vent of the original has also made a comeback, now as a nifty charge status display. 

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Step inside and there’s a distinctive two-tier structure to the padded dashboard, which features a rectangular instrument cluster and air vents that mimic the 5’s headlight design. The seats are inspired by those found in the original R5 Turbo, and recycled materials can be found throughout the range, with the Techno trim level coming with denim upholstery made from recycled plastic water bottles on the seats, dashboard and door cards. A combination of two 10-inch displays provide vital driver information and entertainment, with Google and ChatGPT integration. An acoustic windscreen and ‘smart cocoon’ design is said to reduce unwanted cabin noise, with a standard heat pump improving passenger comfort and overall efficiency.

A total of five colours are available at launch, ranging from Artic White and Midnight Blue to the bold Pop Yellow and Pop Green shades pictured (two-tone options are also in the pipeline). While the new Renault 5 range is somewhat limited at launch, the marque is keen to offer plenty of customisation to buyers, with even the steering wheel-mounted gear selector designed to be modified – as one of many 3D printed accessories, buyers can swap it for a trim piece that resembles a lipstick case…

The new Renault 5 range starts with the Evolution trim level, moving to Techno and the range topping Iconic Five. First UK cars will hit the road in Q1 2025, with pricing projected to start from c£25,000. Full UK details will be released in due course.

2024 Renault 5 E-Tech specs

 

Renault 5 E-Tech 52kWh

Renault 5 E-Tech 40kWh

Engine

Single motor, front-wheel drive

Single motor, front-wheel drive

Power 

150bhp

120bhp

Torque

181lb ft

166lb ft

Weight 

1450kg

1350kg

Power-to-weight

103bhp/ton

89bhp/ton

0-62mph

TBC

Top speed

93mph

TBC

Range (WLTP)

c248 miles

c186 miles

Price

TBC

c£25,000

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