Currently reading: Reborn Renault 5 being considered
Renault chiefs have confirmed that the company is considering a new version of the classic Renault 5

Renault has confirmed that it is considering a new version of the classic Renault 5 to enhance its supermini range. A company source explained that a reborn Renault 5 is under discussion and could complement the next Twingo as well as the forthcoming fourth-generation Clio.

"We're seriously thinking about bringing back the Renault 5 to underpin the Clio," confirmed a source within Renault. "For it to be a credible car it would have to offer more than a Twingo. That would mean it wouldn't have to just be good dynamically, but would have to introduce a notion of the revolution that the 5 brought to the market in 1972, both in terms of technology and positioning."

The source also ruled out the prospect of Renault introducing a DS-style sub-brand in the way that fellow French marque Citroën has, but believed the reborn Renault 5 could play a similar role in enhancing the brand.

The R5 was the first modern supermini with its three-door hatchback layout, and is still considered a styling tour de force. It was a European best-seller for most of the 1970s and lived until 1985, when it was replaced by the visually similar ‘Supercinq’.

Almost a year ago Autocar first reported on rumours of a new Renault 5 emanating from within the company. At the time, well-placed insiders believed that the reinvention of one of Renault’s best-loved and most stylish models would give it a chance to cash in on the fast-growing market for specialty small cars.

Renault’s planners would be anxious to avoid producing a design that is too retro in character when the company is launching itself into a period of more forward-looking and imaginative designs.

Expect to see plenty of references to the original car, including the signature rectangular headlights, slender grille, unusually low crease in its flanks, innovative impact-absorbing bumpers (though perhaps in classier, coloured textures than the original plastic) and vertical tail-lights.

Inside, Renault’s engineers are unlikely to risk reproducing the push-me-pull-you gearlever that sprouted from early cars’ dashboards, although they may reference its vertical ribbing. But the interior will be considerably more inviting than the rubber-floored original’s, finished to a far higher standard and offered with the wide variety of materials that have made the Mini and Fiat 500 so appealing to customers.

A long options list and the scope for extensive personalisation would be key to the car’s appeal and its profitability. Mechanically, the R5 would likely be be based on the Renault Nissan Alliance B platform, as used on the Clio 4 that will be unveiled at the Paris show in September

Join the debate

Add a comment…
sirwiggum 17 January 2012

Re: Reborn Renault 5 being considered

See plenty of mk1 Clios about. Many were basic, an evolution of the supercinq but in a stylish form. My first car was a mk1 Clio, great basic car, 4 speed box, loved it!

I didn't like the mk2 blob design, but they did sell well until the latest Clio which you don't see very many of, then the Twingo which looks very similar.

A retro 5 will sell well, as is proven by the 500 and "MINI".

I do hope that they make GT Turbo or V6 mid engined versions though!

Peter Cavellini 16 January 2012

Re: Reborn Renault 5 being considered

What next?......the Renault Dauphine!

catnip 14 January 2012

Re: Reborn Renault 5 being considered

I'm not really sure how this will work. Renault say they don't want to be 'retro' so I'm wondering which particular unique features of the 5 they will draw on to make it other than another small hatchback from Renault. The 500 and MINI have the advantage of distinctive, easily recogniseable shapes to single them out, but I don't know the same could be said of the 5.

Also, Renault say they don't want it to be a sub brand, yet I think the long-term success of the MINI and DS3 will be due to them developing the brand, and of course, Fiat too are planning to develop the 500 brand rather than just relying on one model.