Renault 5 EV: Affordable Mini Cooper Rival with Funky Flair at $27,000

US Retires Le Car but Restores as Electric Nameplate.

The highly anticipated Renault 5 E-Tech electric car has made its grand entrance with a unique appearance, positioning itself as a strong competition to the recently released battery-operated Mini Cooper. Formerly recognized as Le Car in the United States, this signifies the revival of the Renault 5 brand, which was discontinued back in 1996.

Renault has put in a deliberate effort to revamp the 5 by incorporating elements from its past, including vibrant color choices, unique LED headlight arrangement, vertical tail lights, sleek wings, and a colorful roof. The vehicle also has hints of red, and the concealed door handles pay homage to the three-door R5 models from earlier times. When comparing it to the concept version unveiled in 2021, the final product does not stray too far.

The exterior of the vehicle boasts a “5” battery charging indicator located on the hood, as well as pupil-shaped LED headlights that playfully “wink” at the driver.

“Our goal was to incorporate elements of collective memory and interpret them in a modern manner in order to craft the R5 of the future. Our aim was not to evoke feelings of nostalgia or a vintage aesthetic with the Renault 5 E-Tech Electric. Instead, we sought to elicit emotion and design a dynamic, lively, and lively car,” explained Gilles Vidal, vice president of design for Renault & Ampere.

The newest addition to the Renault family, the 5 E-Tech, has become the pioneer in utilizing the AmpR Small platform. This platform, previously referred to as CMF-B EV, is set to pave the way for upcoming models such as the revamped Twingo and four other nameplates. The vehicle’s dimensions come in at 154.3 inches in length, 69.7 inches in width, and 59 inches in height, with a wheelbase stretching to a full 100 inches.

The cabin of this car exudes a youthful charm, evident in the vibrant color options. Inside, one can find a 10.1-inch multifunctional touchscreen with a sleek and user-friendly layout. Additionally, its cargo space boasts a generous capacity of 11.5 cubic feet.

The 5 E-Tech electric vehicle is packed with advanced technology, elevating the overall onboard experience. It boasts the newest OpenR Link system, which integrates with Google and provides access to numerous apps and services, such as electric charging scheduling. Renault has also introduced Reno, a customizable avatar similar to the Mini Bulldog AI assistant, to add an extra layer of immersion while driving. This feature offers assistance and personal interactions based on its unique personality. In terms of safety, the E-Tech includes features like adaptive cruise control, level 2 autonomous driving aid, and rescue support systems.

The electric Renault 5 E-Tech boasts a pair of lithium-ion battery choices, namely 40 and 52 kWh. The former grants a maximum range of 186 miles, while the latter yields up to 249 miles, placing it in direct competition with the Mini Cooper SE. These numbers were calculated using the WLTP measurement methodology.

The direct current (DC) charging speed for the base model is 80 kilowatts, while the large pack can handle up to 100 kilowatts. This quick charging option allows both batteries to reach a level of 15-80% in just 30 minutes. In contrast, the alternating current (AC) charging capacity is limited to 11 kilowatts.

The electric motor has three different power levels. The first option offers 95 horsepower and 156 lb-ft of torque, while the medium option provides 120 hp and 166 lb-ft – both powered by a 40 kWh battery. The highest level of power yields up to 150 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque, with energy coming from the larger 52 kWh battery. The quickest Renault 5 E-Tech model can accelerate from 0-62 mph in under eight seconds and reach a maximum speed of 93 mph. For those seeking even more power, a high-performance version will be introduced in June as the Alpine A290.

The highly anticipated Renault 5 E-Tech EV is set to hit the European market in September of 2024. With a starting price estimated at €25,000 (equivalent to around $27,000 in current exchange rates), this electric vehicle is sure to make a splash. However, it’s disappointing news for US consumers as it is unlikely that the compact city car will be available in our market. This is due to the prevailing attitude towards small cars in the US. On the bright side, we can look forward to electric crossovers from Renault’s performance brand, Alpine, arriving in 2027.

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