The classic Renault 5s in the spotlight alongside the new 100% electric prototype

The Renault 5 Prototype made its appearance at the beginning of the year on the occasion of the presentation of the Renaulution plan concerning the future of the French brand, led by Luca de Meo. This time the public can discover this reinterpretation of the famous French city car of the 1970s in the midst of its ancestors at the Munich Motor Show, between September 7 and 12, 2021. On site, we find an orange R5 TL, a black Le Car Van , a blue Electric and a Champagne TX.

A little history: before the 80s

A little history: before the 80sStart the slideshow
The future electric Renault 5 facing its ancestors at the 2021 Munich Motor Show

Illustrative photoPhoto Credit – Renault

Renault presented its R5 in 1971 before its commercial launch at the beginning of 1972. It is a modern city car with good roominess. The new small diamond car has a folding rear seat and Polyester bumpers, it is initially available in two distinct versions: L and TL. The first is equipped with the 783 cm3 of the R4, strong 33.5 hp and the second is equipped with a 956 cm3 offering 47 hp. More upscale, the TL (version presented in Munich in orange) is also equipped with front disc brakes, perforated sheet metal rims and chrome side strips.

Starting with the 1973 model year, it is possible to opt for an optional floor-mounted gearbox (standard steering wheel). This leads in particular to a greater distance than before between the two front seats on all versions. A year later, an even higher-end LS variant appeared, with a 1,289 cc engine delivering 64 hp. Its technical improvements include the appearance of rear anti-roll bars, assisted braking and the appearance of a tachometer on the dashboard. The year 1975 marked the replacement of the LS by the TS, which featured new seats with headrests, retractable belts and other minimal details.

The very original R5 Le Car Van (a copy presented in Munich) is offered from August 1979, it is a modification made by the bodybuilder Heuliez on the basis of the TS, Automatic versions (available from 1978) or company (2 places). Inspired by the American vans which were all the rage in the USA at the time, the Le Car Van replaced its rear quarter windows with a polyester panel incorporating a tinted porthole. The rear hatch is made up of a single piece of polyester with a rectangular window and an external spare wheel with “Le Car Van” cover. The black bodywork is highlighted on the sides and at the rear with “rainbow” stripping and stickers with the name of the special series. The interior is distinguished by its seats upholstered in Persian red and red carpet on the front floor and door panels.

Sport, luxury and innovation on a small scale

Sport, luxury and innovation on a small scaleStart the slideshow
The future electric Renault 5 facing its ancestors at the 2021 Munich Motor Show

Illustrative photoPhoto Credit – Renault

The R5 Alpine is the big novelty of 1976: in addition to adopting a mythical name, it is equipped with a powerful mechanism cubing at 1,397 cm3 and developing 93 hp (not bad for a weight of 920 kg). Its gearbox is equipped with an additional ratio (5), a suspension lowered by 4 cm and a revised front axle. Inside, the Motolita steering wheel and the specific gear lever knob lend a sporty atmosphere to the small city car. Unfortunately, this version, much appreciated by collectors, was not exhibited in Munich. The R5 Alpine was replaced by the 110 hp Alpine Turbo strong in 1981 and then by the monstrous and enjoyable 160 hp Turbo 2 in 1983.

The R5 TX (presented in Munich in champagne color) appeared a little later, in the 1982 vintage, and was available in manual or automatic transmission (TX Automatic). These versions are meant to be top-of-the-range, they are distinguished on the outside by Amyl aluminum rims and electrically controlled tinted windows. Driving is facilitated by power steering associated with a sports steering wheel, the gear lever knob is adorned with leather and the rear bench is separated into two independent seats. After a few minor changes in the following vintages, the production of the R5 stopped in France in 1985 to make way for its replacement, the Supercinq, after no less than 5,580,626 units had sold.

The blue-colored Renault 5 electric from the early 1970s on display in Munich looks avant-garde in 2021, but it was just an oddity in its day. Unveiled in the spring of 1972 and developed in partnership with EDF, this version was produced in around one hundred copies until 1974. A direct current electric motor developing 7.5 kW provides traction for the small car, allowing it a high speed. maximum of 60 km / h. With its heavy and bulky lead-acid batteries, the electric R5 does not exceed 60 km of autonomy, at normal pace and according to the criteria of the time! As for the recharge time, we don’t even talk about it: 10 hours are needed for a full charge. It constitutes a milestone in the history of the electric car that it is interesting to rediscover.

In short

The Renault 5 Prototype is on display at the 2021 Munich Motor Show, in Germany, alongside several versions of the city car that inspired its lines, namely the legendary “R5”. Renault’s old vehicles department made the trip with four models representing a range of versions through the ages, from the presentation of the vehicle in 1971 to the end of production in 1985. On display is an orange R5 TL, a black Le Car Van, a blue Electric and a Champagne TX.

Paul Niocel

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