Skip to main content


Hold my Baguette! The Renault R5 returns as a retrofuturistic city car

Just when we thought we couldn’t care less about the latest all-electric city cars launched in Geneva, along came the all-new Renault R5. And our pulse finally went up again.

The recipe is simple: Take an iconic car of the past, let your most talented designers remix the classic shape, throw a set of batteries and an electric engine into it – and sell it as the must-have automobile of the hour to design-savvy, sustainability-seeking city dwellers worldwide. We have seen it done countless times and usually shrugged it away as another bloodless marketing exercise. But this week, something was different: Renault has brought back one of their greatest hatchback hits, the pop icon that is known as the R5, as an all-electric, affordable city car. And guess what? It has character. It has soul. It has a wicker baguette holder and a gear selector that looks like a lipstick case. It is unapologetically French – and the want is strong! 

The Renault 5 E-Tech Electric, as the retrofuturistic car is called, is clearly inspired by the original Renault R5 that was built between 1972 and 1985. While the front and rear lights remind us of the purist original, the car’s boxy fenders clearly hint at the late, Turbo-powered rally pocket rockets. On the bonnet, an illuminated panel in the style of the classic air intake serves as a battery charging indicator. There's also a French flag embedded into the headlights and the wheels sport an old-school 5 logo. Renault promises to offer the new car in three trim levels with countless options for individualization. The cockpit is equipped with two horizontal screens, rectangular instruments and R5 Turbo style seats. It can be customized with denim fabrics, 3D-printed and stickers.  

Buyers will also be able to chose between three motorisations and two battery sizes. When the car is launched in autumn, it will initially only be available with the larger 52 kWh battery and the most powerful 110 kW engine. With prices starting at 25.000 euros, we are confident that the new Renault R5 will soon swarm our streets, just like the original has 50 years ago.

You prefer the original? There are plenty of classic Renault R5 offered for sale in the Classic Driver Market. Go have a look!