Renault 5 returns as an electric concept with a young design and a retro touch –

21.01.2021 –– technical –– Jakub Sochor

The vehicle category, designed with explicit references to iconic cars, will be expanded in the coming years by a subcompact electric Renault, which is a direct reflection of the classic R5 sedan. Thanks to this vision, the designers managed to combine historical reminiscence with technological modernism, which mainly means LED body lighting and fully electric drive.

Retrospective design belongs to the most distinctive creative expressions, which is due to several reasons. It is above all the responsibility of the designer towards the original vehicle, which was chosen as the creative model – the new design should not caricature it or forcefully reshape its stylistic characteristics. An example of such a responsible retro design is the Fiat 500, which, despite very faithful quotes of classic elements (especially the bumpers, which are captured through subtle chrome stripes), is found in a modern layout. – combining a romantic retrospective while maintaining contemporary functional solutions. A similar approach was taken in the design of the Volkswagen Beetle, in which the creators demonstrated the possibility of a generational development of the retrospective bodywork – while its first generation (called the New Beetle) consisted of reducing forms to features. geometric elements, the second was designed with an emphasis on more sophisticated volume modulation.

Regarding thematic orientation, these cars are usually chosen for the current interpretation, which are of extraordinary importance both in the field of design and in terms of socio-cultural overlap; it generally consists of the post-war motorization of its country of origin or the achievement of international fame. It is precisely the French cars, among which many vehicles are perceived not only as means of transport, but also as carriers of the symbolic value mentioned above. One of them is the Renault 5, which was unveiled in 1972 at the Geneva Motor Show.

Michel Boué is signed to design the original tailgate marked 5. The paucity of the molds co-creates both the compactness of the exterior design (given by the innovative shape of the plastic bumpers, which correspond in volume to the body ) and the harmonious balance of mechanical and artistic components, expressed for example by a smooth seat of the rear lights on the rear pillar. Due to the lack of the classic centered grille, the expression of the front of the car also stands out, underlined by a short overhang. The car was modernized in 1984 by Marcel Gandini who, while retaining the proportionality of the original model, fitted the bodywork with elements meeting the conventions of the time (incorporation of front indicators under the headlights, greater use of plastics) .

The new conceptual creation 5 Concept synthesizes all the elements mentioned above. The arch represents a rough stylization of the same part of the historic car’s body, from which the trapezoidal outline of the headlights and the smooth front were taken. The original bodywork is also reminiscent of the dynamic bevel of the third (rear) door, which is lined with taillights in a similar arrangement to Gandini’s modernized 1984 design, but in a format the designers refer to the original 1972 model. the manufacturer’s logo, the neutral point of which refers to the graphics of the Renault emblem, designed in 1972 by the artist Victor Vasarely. For the first time, this symbolically remarkable reminiscence appeared last year on the body of the Mégane eVision study; in the case of this retrospective study, however, its use is justified by the strengthening of the historical heritage, the cultural classification of which is exemplified by the French tricolor motif depicted in the exterior mirrors.

The study is not the first model to refer to the 5 sedan. The material layout of the rear body of the R5 Turbo sports car was the inspiration for the modeling of the rear of the Twin´ study. Z (2013) by Laurens van den Acker and Ross Lovegrove. That same year, the vision’s organic design was chiseled into an almost serial form – it was the sporty Twin’Run model, which anticipated the production version of the Twingo model. In all these cases, the reference to the Renault 5 is evident by the inclination of the rear pillar of the body and the prolongation of the rear, in the flanks of which are inserted taillights – unlike the R5 Turbo, where openings Additional formed the powertrain intake ventilation. Like the current generation of Renault Twingo, the 5 Concept study also sports a subtle roll bar. In both cases, this impression is due to the absence of motorization at the front.

The Model 5 Concept is not Renault’s first achievement in the design retrospective. In 1996, a concept called Fiftie was exhibited at the Geneva Motor Show, which represented a distinctive restylation of the historic 4CV vehicle, 50 years after its introduction. However, given the solutions presented by the concept (for example, rattan door panels or the merging of the front seats into a single bench), it was clear that this was only an exhibition specimen. . The design was a form of exaggeration, expressed for example by citing the ribbed cover of the engine compartment of historic vehicles and the concave shape of the hood. Compared to the creation of the Fiftia, the new 5 Concept model is a full-fledged prototype that anticipates a production electric car, which can only assume the chiselling of the contours and the rationalization of the forms in favor of series production. .

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Photo: Renault

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