The electric Renault 5 is getting closer to production, with the French brand teasing the retro-styled hatchback in prototype guise.

    Wrapped in black camouflage with red and yellow trims to highlight the body lines, the prototype models show the vehicle hasn’t strayed far from the concept shown in 2021.

    Other than slightly larger mirrors and standard door handles replacing the flush ones of the concept, the prototype mule maintains the retro design inspired by the original 1972 Renault 5.

    The French brand’s Technocentre hub, located outside of Paris, has been used to produce 60 prototypes of the Renault 5 EV.

    The Global Production Engineering Center facility allows Renault to simulate assembly line conditions to create prototypes that accurately represent the production model delivered to customers.

    These assembly lines produced the very first electric Renault 5s in October 2021 which were used for testing across ‘extreme conditions’ such as Lapland and the company’s cold weather testing centre in Sweden.

    Full-scale production of the Renault 5 is expected to start in 2024 and will take place at Renault’s Douai plant in northern France.

    The 5 will be the first model to use the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi CMF-B EV platform, which will also underpin an upcoming electric Nissan Micra.

    It will share around 70 per cent of its components with the CMF-B platform also underpinning the likes of the Renault Arkana and Captur, and Nissan Juke.

    Renault claims this parts sharing is what will make the 5 cheaper to produce than the outgoing Zoe.

    The 5 will be powered by an electrically-excited synchronous motor named ‘ePT-100kW’ that’s said to be more powerful than a permanent magnet design and doesn’t require any rare earth metals, making it cheaper and cleaner to produce.

    This new electric motor is a derivation of the more-powerful ‘ePT-160kW’ electric motor used in the Renault Megane E-Tech Electric.

    Renault hasn’t revealed battery capacities for the 5, but we know the largest battery offered in the Zoe is a 52kWh unit, which has a WLTP driving range of 395km.

    The battery pack for the 5 will be housed under the passenger seat and utilise four large modules rather than 12 small ones, making it lighter and more space efficient.

    The 5 will be joined by another heritage-inspired electric vehicle, with a production version of the 4Ever Trophy concept that was previewed at the Paris motor show last year.

    Renault Australia has yet to officially confirm either vehicle for our market.

    “We will take it if they make it in right-hand drive, we have our hand up. Then it’s, will they make the additional investment to engineer the car for [Australian Design Rules] in Australia?” Renault Australia boss Glen Sealey told CarExpert earlier this year.

    “The reality is that, say it costs you three million euros to engineer that car for Australia or spend that for another spec for that car in Europe that will give them a better return, so it’s about allocation of final resources.”

    Eilidh McNaughton
    Eilidh McNaughton is a Contributor at CarExpert.
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