The Renault 5 Prototype has been unveiled alongside the brand's 'Renaulution' product plan overnight, previewing a retro-inspired electric hatchback due to go on sale in Europe by the middle of the decade.
A modernised, all-electric take on the iconic Renault 5 supermini of the 1970s and 1980s, the new concept blends the boxy proportions of its retro namesake with the LED lighting signatures, high-tech displays and sculpted side surfaces expected of a modern vehicle tasked with ushering Renault's B-segment line-up into the electric era.
Up front, futuristic LED headlights flank a retro-inspired Renault diamond emblem, and sit above a closed-off lower fascia with square LED daytime-running lights connected by large, illuminated 'RENAULT' script.
A range of design features seen on the original 5 have been repurposed for its modern, zero-emissions equivalent: the asymmetrical bonnet vent is now a charging port flap, the tall rear tail-lights serve an aerodynamic purpose, while the aforementioned front daytime-running lights have been converted from fog lights on the 20th century-era car.
Large alloy wheels wrapped in Continental tyres fill the arches, while a red strip around the edge of the glasshouse appears to pay tribute to hot Renault 5 models of the 1980s, which were liberal in their use of red accents and detailing.
While no images of the Renault 5 Prototype's interior have been released, the exterior shots reveal French flag lights in the headrests, and a small transparent screen on the dashboard "[inviting] you to hop in for a ride."
"The design of the Renault 5 Prototype is based on the R5, cult model of our heritage. This prototype simply embodies modernity, a vehicle relevant to its time: urban, electric, attractive", said Gilles Vidal, Renault design director.
Renault has yet to confirm details of the 5's powertrain or pricing, but the brand promises it "will democratise the electric car in Europe with a modern approach to the popular and essential car.”
Renault CEO Luca de Meo is no stranger to reviving cult-status products of the brand's past, having been one of the key drivers behind the rebirth of the Fiat 500 city car in 2007.
“I know from experience that reinventing a cult products lights a fire under the whole brand. This is a cult vehicle at a price many can afford. And this is only the beginning for the whole Renault brand”, he told British publication Autocar.
The unveiling of the Renault 5 Prototype comes alongside the announcement of Renault's wider 'Renaulution' business plan, which will see a focus placed on profits over outright volume, and the introduction of 24 new models by 2025.
Of those, 10 models will be all-electric, including the Renault 5 and a modernised, zero-emissions version of the 5's indirect predecessor, the 1960s Renault 4.