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LeWhoa: Renault Is Bringing Back The Little 5 Hatchback As An EV City Car

LeWhoa: Renault Is Bringing Back The Little 5 Hatchback As An EV City Car

At the rate electric vehicles are being debuted, normally the gut reaction is to roll eyes, mutter something derogatory under breath, and move on. The speculation that Chevrolet has hidden a Corvette SUV within their CES video, for example, goes past a simple gag reflex and straight into “Excuse me, can you hand me that trash can? I think I’m gonna be sick.” Plugging in and charging up is the hip thing these days, and if you don’t have an internal combustion engine to save your backside, all the better. For the most part, without the infrastructure present to handle EVs in a large scale, it’s still zero hour of the honeymoon phase to us, but there are ways that EVs actually work out. Small, local cars that you use to run around town with, for example, make ideal sense. And that’s where this oddity comes into being.

Remember the Renault R5? You probably don’t. Or if you do, you did everything you could to erase any memory of a “LeCar” out of your head. It was tiny, it was French, and they rotted like that was what they were built for. If you find one worth of the 1976-85 hatchbacks anywhere for sale that doesn’t have “R5 Turbo” on it, run. Run like hell. But that was over thirty years ago. Times change, companies can change, and Renault has decided that LeCar deserves a second chance, this time as an EV.

It wouldn’t be the first time. An electric version of LeCar was sold as the “Lectric Leopard” (I couldn’t make that up if I tried) and it had a modest range. The 5 concept is being designed as part of Renault’s push into the EV market, which the manufacturer is hoping to compose of seven new vehicles by 2025. Anti-ICE regulations in Europe probably have a lot to do with this push, but starting out with a cute, retro-style city car isn’t a bad first step. We do dig the see-through gauge readout with heads-up display, though we probably shouldn’t get the part that allows you to display messages to oncoming vehicles. There’s too much room for bad things to happen with that feature.

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3 thoughts on “LeWhoa: Renault Is Bringing Back The Little 5 Hatchback As An EV City Car

  1. Benoit Pigeon

    Wow, that’s six articles mentioning specifically the Renault 5 on Bangshift since 2018! There is some love after all.

  2. 69rrboy

    I learned how to drive stick in a Le Car. A super hot girl I went to college with(Hi Missy!) had one. It was about the most underpowered car I’ve ever driven. I don’t think there was any padding at all in the seats. The glove box liner was a paper thin piece of cardboard that bent a LOT when I put her sun glasses in it and the head liner was made out of some weird foam. We hit a bump and I put my hand up to save my skull from crashing into the roof and it left a print in the foam you could still see a few months later. Total piece of garbage. Hopefully they’ll put a lot more effort into building this thing.

  3. Benoit Pigeon

    By the way, the electric model reminds me of the look of the 1982 PPG R5 Indy pace car (not the Aero)

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