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Renault 5 E-Tech Electric: pictures and first impression

Renault 5 E-Tech Electric: pictures and first impression

That’s the same thing with electromobility. After the subsidy is stopped, sales stall and manufacturers cannot step into the breach forever. So it’s about price. The magic 25,000 euro limit is called to make the electric cars more attractive to a wider range of customers. Then the cars should also appeal to the senses if possible, i.e. be emotional. Sterile electric vehicles with the charm of a control room do not necessarily increase sales opportunities. The Honda e is one such example. The charming little electric car was popular with the public, was fun to drive, but was too expensive at a price well beyond 30,000 euros. The consequence: After four years, the Japanese took the round-eyed popular figure off the market.

Now Renault is making a new attempt to solve this automotive dilemma with the R5 E-Tech Electric. Unlike VW, Renault is applying the “back to the future” principle, using its small car history and launching an electric Renault 5 from autumn this year.

The car that came onto the market in 1972 and took the automotive world by storm as a smart French small car. The men at the Rhombus brand now intend to transform this template. “We have many details that are reminiscent of the classic,” says designer Gilles Vidal. These include the small rear wing and the grille on the front hood. Actually, you don’t need the latter with an electric car. So the French technicians wanted to install the charging socket there, but quickly found out that this wasn’t particularly practical because the cable was constantly rubbing against the front apron. So now an LED display with the number five under the grid with individual segments shows the charge level and lights up as soon as the driver approaches the car. The Filou then even winks with his LED headlight eyes.

If you look at the R5 E-Tech Electric, you quickly see that the designers of the series version, which will be launched on the market in autumn, have remained true to the original proportions of its namesake with the short overhangs. With a length of 3.92 meters and 18-inch wheels, the small car stands sturdy. Small side note: The Chrono rims were initially supposed to have ten spokes, but now there are twelve at the request of the watch fan and Renault boss Luca de Meo. The basis for the new R5 is the AmpR Small platform, which is very scalable and should also form the technical basis for the electric Clio.

Renault offers up to 52 kilowatt hours and a range of 400 kilometers

The French offer the R5 either with an NMC battery with a capacity of 40 kilowatt hours and a range of 300 kilometers or with 52 kWh batteries that are good for 400 kilometers. The French electric car should also master vehicle-to-grid (V2G), thus becoming part of an intelligent power grid and even making money or reducing charging costs. Charging is possible with a maximum of 11 kW with alternating current and with 80 or 100 kW at a DC charging station. As far as direct current is concerned, it’s not exactly record-breaking, but it’s okay when it comes to AC current. Especially when you look at the Chinese competition.

And what about the driving fun? “The car is a go-kart,” promises chief engineer Jeremie Coiffier and adds with a smile: “I was able to cherry-pick the Renault Group’s technology.” So the Renault R5 E-Tech-Electric gets a multi-link rear axle and a motor with a new inverter. In order to keep the development (only three years!) as efficient and cost-effective as possible, the partners who were already involved in the design of the Megané and Scenic E-Tech were used for the electric motor and transmission.

The Renault 5 E-Tech Electric therefore has an engine with three power levels, which are implemented via the software: 70 kW / 95 HP, 90 kW / 122 HP and 110 kW / 150 HP. The top version has a torque of 245 Newton meters and completes the standard sprint from zero to 100 km/h in 7.9 seconds. The basic variant takes 12.9 seconds. Still fast enough for urban areas. Because that’s what the R5 should be first and foremost: a city car and an affordable one at that. In order to achieve the starting price of less than 25,000 euros, you have to concentrate on the essentials. This also applies to the weight of the electric vehicle, which is only 1,372 kilograms with the 40 kWh batteries and 1,456 kilograms with the 52 kWh energy storage units.

Few colors, hip interior

Limiting yourself to the essentials is one of the keys to preventing price spirals. So the electric R5 is only available in five colors when it launches. Our favorite is the poisonous Pop Green. A reminiscence of the 1970s and 1980s, when the R5 dominated the streetscape in every city. “The R5 E-Tec Electric is the funniest car in our model range,” beams interior designer Paula Fabregat. That’s right, the R5 is the French Mini.

Something that VW has not yet been able to get off the ground. With so much exterior pep, the furniture can’t fall off. Paula Fabregat’s team did a great job here and, upon request, equipped the R6 with denim made from recycled PET bottles. When asked, the designer assures us that the covers are not only durable, but also do not cause sweating. The interior is not luxurious, but it is much more pleasant than, for example, the plastic desert of the first generation of the ID.3.

The ten-inch touchscreen as a command center also fits perfectly with the interior. French synth sound icon Jean-Michel Jarre was involved in the welcome jingle and pedestrian warning tone. So this R5 is almost a national affair.

It is also obvious that in a car with a wheelbase of 2.54 meters there is not opulent space everywhere. Adults have more than enough space in the front, but behind it it gets much tighter. As a full-grown Central European, you wouldn’t want to travel in the back of the Renault, but it’s certainly possible for shorter distances. There is also a trunk volume of 326 liters. Now the only question that remains is whether the Renault 5 E-Tech Electric drives as well as it looks.

Source: Stern

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