Electrification may be the powertrain of the future, but a number of new and coming electric vehicles are looking to the past for design cues.
The latest reveal is the Renault 5, a small electric car that the brand hopes will build enthusiasm under new CEO Luca de Meo. The original 5 – and its face-lifted successor, the Super 5 – was itself a breath of modernity when it appeared in late 1972 as a replacement for the sturdy Renault 4. More than 8 million were sold when production ended in the mid-1990s.
The Renault 5 EV is due around 2023, at an "affordable" price, said de Meo, who reportedly initiated the project last year as he reviewed the automaker’s future products after his arrival on July 1. It could be followed by an electric Renault 4, which could take the shape of a small crossover or SUV, according to reports.
"I know by experience that when you are able to reinvent some cult products of the brand, it lights a fire under the whole brand," he said. "This is what we expect with the new Renault 5. It's a pure electric vehicle, but at the price that many, many people will be able to afford."
De Meo was CEO at the Fiat brand when it revived the 500 in 2007. The 500's reboot was part of wave of retro-styled vehicles that arrived in the 2000s that included the new Mini and new VW Beetle.