Currently reading: Renault tipped to revive classic 4 and 5 nameplates for new EVs
French firm is set to unveil a bold revival plan - which could include the return of some classic nameplates

Renault will reinvent a number of its classic models as electric cars as part of a bold turnaround plan set to be unveiled by new boss Luca de Meo, according to reports.

Former Seat boss de Meo was given the top job at the French giant last year. He has been working on a new business plan to boost sales and reposition the firm, which began last September with the unveiling of a major internal restructure. De Meo is now set to unveil the next phase in his plan on Thursday January 14, in an event billed as a 'Renaulution'.

Reuters, citing two sources, states that de Meo’s plan will focus on future product ranges, and will include the revival of at least two classic nameplates to strengthen the focus on Renault’s French heritage.

They will include an electric reinvention of the 4L, based on the city car originally launched in the 1960s as a rival to the Mini and Fiat 500. An electric version of the Renault 5, originally offered in two generations from 1972 until it was replaced by the Clio in 1996, is also reportedly set to be revealed.

No more details of the models have been given, but they could potentially share a platform with the existing Zoe electric hatch or use the new Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance CMF-EV electric platform, which Renault will first use for the forthcoming production version of the Megane eVision.

The Megane eVision is a crossover that uses the long-running nameplate of the firm’s family hatch, and also features a retro-infused design with numerous nods to Renault’s past. As with the Megane, reviving classic model names such as the 4 and 5 would be a way for Renault to pitch early electric models to a more style-focused audience, in a similar way to how Fiat has positioned its new electric 500.

Reuters also claims that Renault will reveal three electric models for its Alpine sub-brand. As previously reported by Autocar, Renault bosses have been considering turning Alpine into an electric-only performance brand, with a reshuffle last year securing the firm's long-term future.

Do Meo’s plan is also set to include culling several long-running models that have waned in popularity in recent years, including the Espace MPV.

Renault has declined to comment on the Reuters report.


Renault unveils 4L-based electric convertible

Renault 5 GT Turbo: better than the 205 GTI?

Renault design boss on axing models, hot EVs and Alpine's future

James Attwood

James Attwood, digital editor
Title: Acting magazine editor

James is Autocar's acting magazine editor. Having served in that role since June 2023, he is in charge of the day-to-day running of the world's oldest car magazine, and regularly interviews some of the biggest names in the industry to secure news and features, such as his world exclusive look into production of Volkswagen currywurst. Really.

Before first joining Autocar in 2017, James spent more than a decade in motorsport journalist, working on Autosport,, F1 Racing and Motorsport News, covering everything from club rallying to top-level international events. He also spent 18 months running Move Electric, Haymarket's e-mobility title, where he developed knowledge of the e-bike and e-scooter markets. 

Join the debate

Add a comment…
Mikey C 11 January 2021

"Renaulution". That won't please the French language police LOL

I quite like the idea of an electric modern day Renault 4. 

405line 11 January 2021

I always loved the little R5 in any guise Mk1Mk2 whatever, not exactly sure what it was about them but I had to have an R5turbo, it would be interesting to see what the car might have evolved into if it were not killed off. Really looking forward to seeing it if it ever happens and the idea turns out to be more than just nostalgic thinking.

WallMeerkat 11 January 2021

Surely the 5 was defacto replaced by the Clio in 1990-1991(UK). It lived on til 96 as a Campus budget model