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Spy Shots Jul 6th 2023 at 12:20PM

Renault 5 EV spy photos show dedication to retro looks

It looks pleasingly similar to the concept

  • Image Credit: SH Proshots
  • Image Credit: SH Proshots
  • Image Credit: SH Proshots
  • Image Credit: SH Proshots
  • Image Credit: SH Proshots
  • Image Credit: SH Proshots
  • Image Credit: SH Proshots
  • Image Credit: SH Proshots
  • Image Credit: SH Proshots
  • Image Credit: SH Proshots
  • Image Credit: SH Proshots

A couple years ago, Renault revealed its modern, electric take on the Renault 5 hatchback. The 5 EV concept leaned hard into the crisp, boxy lines of the original hatchback (sold as the Le Car in the United States), and it charmed many, including us. Now we're finally seeing production prototypes on the road, and we're pleased to see it looks just as dedicated to the retro bit.

This prototype is pretty thoroughly wrapped up in camouflage, but the profile looks near identical to the concept. Even the door handle placements, particularly the rear ones hidden in the window area, match up. The front handles have been switched to conventional grab handles instead of flush-fit ones, likely for cost reasons, but we don't know anyone that has a real grudge against functional handles. It also retains the snub nose, forward raked rear pillars and taillights that follow the rear hatch lines.

The wheels are pushed out to the far edges, just like the concept and the original Renault 5. And the wheel design even matches the concept's six-spoke pattern. 

There are a handful of differences we can spot. The front bumper has a more conventional grille opening down low for cooling, whereas the concept had most of the front blocked off. At the rear, we're not seeing any evidence of the full-width light bar with integrated Renault badge. And the box-flared fenders look a bit toned down, here.

Sadly, we aren't expecting the Renault 5 EV to appear in America, mainly because the brand has no presence here whatsoever. There is some possibility that its underpinnings could be found under a future Nissan or Mitsubishi, though, since Renault is part of that corporate alliance and the so-called CMF-B EV platform will likely be shared. So perhaps a future Mirage EV could use it. Renault's premium performance brand, Alpine, is planning on entering the U.S. market, and it has shown off its own version of the 5 EV, the A290_β. So there's a very outside chance it could come here via that route, but we wouldn't get our hopes up. Regardless, we should see the production Renault 5 EV revealed sometime next year.