One of many most enjoyable automobiles of the previous few years hasn’t had enormous 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, liked 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 inexpensive, neatly designed, fun-to-drive automobiles largely for the French market (it’s a French firm in spite of everything). Within the twentieth century, it had a string of common automobiles that acquired the plenty motoring: the agricultural Renault 4, the stylish Clio, the family-sized Megané, the Espace (which principally invented the “individuals service” section), and, after all, the Renault 5.
The dinky 5 got here with engines to go well with all budgets—the R5 Turbo was a quite 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 brought on 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 a couple of 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. As an alternative, for now no less than, it’s acquired the physique of Renault’s staple hatch, the Clio. We’re assured, nevertheless, that the ultimate design will resemble the 2021 idea.
However there are already loads of new options to gawk at. Underneath the door line is a giant slab of steel, 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 massive crimson buttons to cease the automotive’s numerous features in an emergency.