Renault 5 EV 2024 Prototype Drive: Gripping Stuff

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

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

For these not aware of Renault, or the unique Renault 5, the story is fairly easy. Renault has specialised in reasonably priced, well 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 obtained the plenty motoring: the agricultural Renault 4, the stylish Clio, the family-sized Megané, the (*5*)Espace (which mainly invented the “people carrier” phase), and, after all, the Renault 5.

The dinky 5 got here with engines to swimsuit all budgets—the R5 Turbo was a fairly spicy proposition—and ensured straightforward, spacious journey in a small bundle. It’s a automobile that’s undoubtedly been romanticized over time, so the prospect of a brand new electrical model prompted tongues to wag and hopes to rise.

The manufacturing automobile 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. Instead, for now at the very least, it’s obtained 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 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 aspect. The inside is a mass of massive crimson buttons to cease the automobile’s varied features in an emergency.

Photograph: Renault Group

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