Renault 5 EV 2024 Prototype Drive: Gripping Stuff

One of the most enjoyable vehicles of the previous few years hasn’t had big turbos, neck-straining acceleration figures, or a cabin strewn with simulated stars. It’s a small French hatchback that harks again to a automotive from the Nineteen Seventies.

Renault’s upcoming 5 EV was first conceptualized in 2021, and the corporate’s CEO, Luca de Meo, beloved it a lot he determined that Renault would construct a manufacturing mannequin by 2024.

For these not conversant in Renault, or the unique Renault 5, the story is fairly easy. Renault has specialised in reasonably priced, neatly designed, fun-to-drive vehicles largely for the French market (it’s a French firm in spite of everything). In the twentieth century, it had a string of widespread vehicles that acquired the plenty motoring: the agricultural Renault 4, the stylish Clio, the family-sized Megané, the Espace (which principally invented the “people carrier” section), and, in fact, the Renault 5.

The dinky 5 got here with engines to go well with all budgets—the (*5*) was a fairly spicy proposition—and ensured straightforward, spacious journey in a small package deal. It’s a automotive that’s undoubtedly been romanticized over time, so the prospect of a brand new electrical model precipitated tongues to wag and hopes to rise.

The manufacturing automotive is because of seem within the second half of 2024, however Renault was feeling assured sufficient to let WIRED behind the wheel of an early prototype, and the corporate hosted just a few media shops, together with WIRED, in Sweden for a glance. Sadly, the prototype we’re driving on the ice doesn’t seem to look remotely just like the idea that wowed crowds three years in the past. Instead, for now no less than, it’s acquired the physique of Renault’s staple hatch, the Clio. We’re assured, nonetheless, that the ultimate design will resemble the 2021 idea.

But there are already loads of new options to gawk at. Under the door line is an enormous slab of metallic, which is the brand new, decrease platform. Nestled within the nostril is a flap that hides its cost port. The rear wheel sits ahead within the arch, highlighting the 5’s shorter wheelbase. The 5 additionally has a wider observe (each entrance and rear) than the Clio, so plastic wheel arch extensions have been bolted to the facet. The inside is a mass of huge purple buttons to cease the automotive’s numerous capabilities in an emergency.

Photograph: Renault Group

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