Renault is going all out to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its small hatchback called the 5 or R5, depending where you’re from.
The French carmaker has teased initial images of its yet-unnamed, electric “sporty and offbeat show car” ahead of its reveal during an online show on September 22.
The retro show car will later be on display in person at the Chantilly Arts & Elegance Richard Mille event in France on September 24 and 25, as well as the 2022 Paris motor show which starts on October 17.
This concept was originally thought to be a different, higher-performance version of the revived Renault 5 EV concept. Given this carries obvious ties to the Renault 5 Turbo from the 1980s, that remains likely – although whether it’s production ready, or just a show car, remains to be seen.
Renault notes the show car is a “100 per cent electric reinterpretation [of the Renault 5] inspired by the world of video games”, and is a “contemporary tribute to its most legendary sports versions”.
Although the French carmaker hasn’t claimed any power or torque outputs for the unnamed concept car yet, it says it has a high-level of performance.
Although it’s hard to make out all of the details in the shadowy teaser images, it’s apparent this concept car is wild and bears some similarities to Ken Block’s Porsche 911-based Hoonipigasus Pikes Peak racer.
At the front there are a set of what appear to be low-mounted rally fog lights, as well as a full-width light bar that has a pixelated design.
It’s from the front you can also see the swollen wheel arches that are extremely exaggerated and house rally-inspired turbofan wheels wrapped in huge Michelin tyres.
Around the back is where things are turned up to 11 though, as there is a massive rear wing that would be at home on a time attack car, as well as an over-the-top rear diffuser that allows us to see underneath the car.
Inside the show car are Sabelt racing bucket seats with what appears to be a hydraulic handbrake between them. There’s also a racing gauge cluster ahead of the driver’s seat.
The original Renault 5 small hatchback debuted in 1972 and although it was never officially sold in Australia, it was extremely popular in Europe.
Over its lifetime Renault sold more than five million examples of the 5 globally.
In 1980, Renault revealed the homologated 5 Turbo which was designed principally as a rally car and featured bodywork from Italian design firm Bertone.
Unlike the regular Renault 5 which had a front-mounted engine and front-wheel drive, the 5 Turbo had a mid-mounted engine and rear-drive.
The road-going Renault 5 Turbo was powered by a 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 118kW of power and 221Nm of torque.
Less than 5000 road-going Renault 5 Turbos were produced during its six-year production run.
Renault experienced a number of rallying victories with the 5 Turbo and the more-powerful 5 Turbo Maxi during the 1980s, and it’s still seen as one of the most iconic rally cars.
The French carmaker revealed an all-electric retro Renault 5 concept in early 2021 that’s set to go into production in 2024 and is inspired by the 1972 original. There’ll also be a hotter Alpine version.
Renault’s retro revolution won’t end with the upcoming 5. The brand’s electric rollout will include a Renault 4-inspired SUV, that could be called 4ever, which was recently leaked in patent images.
A concept version of the reborn Renault 4 will also be shown off at this year’s Paris motor show kicking off in October.
Reports have suggested the road-going Renault 4 EV will go into production in 2025.
While the roadgoing Renault 4 and 5 EVs remain a few years off, it’s understood both are on the cards for Australia.
“Any new product that’s announced from the EV side, we have our hands up for,” Renault Australia general manager Glen Sealey told us in May this year.