2025 Renault 5 and 4

2025 Renault 5 and 4

Two ultra-stylish retro-inspired EVs look set to restore Renault’s supermini supremacy.


If the Renault 5 is a dead-cert smash hit, the 4 is a little more complicated to unravel. Your eye immediately decodes the fizzy 5, but the 4 that’s been revealed as a concept laden with off-road hardware takes a while longer to absorb.

It’s all electric and shares the same AmpR Small (formerly CMF-BEV) hardware as its fashionable supermini sibling, along with cabin components including the dashboard and front seats. You can see echoes of the original 4 in the styling, for sure, but this one is boxier and engineered for practicality not purity. From behind, it actually looks remarkably similar to the Mini Countryman whose sales it is eagerly eyeing up.

The Renault 4’s more upright stance majors on space and versatility. It’s built for family adventures and you’ll find floor mats that curl up to protect carpet sides from muddy feet, roof rails for carrying sports equipment, real cork on the dashboard and a footprint a full 8cm longer than the R5 to liberate a bigger boot for pushchairs and other family accoutrements, with access aided by a low loading lip.

Just one battery size will be offered, which CAR expects to have a capacity of 52kWh, enough for a claimed 250-mile range on the European combined test cycle. A single motor will put around 134bhp through the front wheels for decent, but not wild, performance.

The original Renault 4 arrived in the early 1960s and became a quirky and charismatic hit as the company’s answer to the utilitarian, family-friendly Citroën 2CV. The 4 was one of the first mass-produced hatchbacks and it was notable for innovations such as removable deckchair seats – an emphasis on practicality that will feature in the new car too.

In a nod to its SUV-lite positioning, the 4 will sport wheelarch cladding made from recycled plastic, in line with the car’s sustainable mantra. And the Renault diamond badge at the front will be illuminated, to emphasise that this is an EV. Expect two-tone and rollback canvas roof options, plus a suite of vintage-inspired colours and third-party brand collaborations being cooked up by the marketing department.

Renault Group’s design chief Laurens van den Acker has told CAR: ‘Nobody bought the 4 because it was a cool car. They bought it because it was super-practical: you could transport baguettes, take the family on holiday, drive it across Africa. We need to keep the spirit of that car but add coolness, especially because electric cars aren’t cheap.’

Expect to see the 4 at the tail end of 2024, most likely at the Paris motor show, but right-hand-drive UK sales won’t start until 2025. It’s likely to cost more than the 5, at around £35k. And what news of the 5, which was unveiled in concept form amid much fanfare in January 2021 as the face of the Renaulution company reboot? Measuring a whisker under four metres in length, it’s a dashing front-drive electric supermini, visually rich in echoes of the ’70s original.

It was hailed as a brilliant bit of retro-futurist design, akin to the first BMW-era Mini of 2001 and the Fiat 500 six years later. As with those cars, there was never any doubt that it would go into production. The only question concerns how close the production version will be to the concept, especially as Renault boss Luca de Meo has vowed to keep the price down.

De Meo – who was at Fiat when the 500 was launched – joined Renault after work on the 5 EV began, and encouraged his team to press ahead. New design boss Gilles Vidal joined Renault from Peugeot in time to sign the concept off, and will have been taking a keen interest in its metamorphosis into what’s sure to be the latest in a long line of big-selling small Renaults.

Concept versions of 4 and 5 preview the look of the high street a year or so from now.


NEED TO KNOW

  • What is it? Renault 4 revived as more practical, urban e-crossover
  • Tech? Shares its hardware with the new Renault 5 and the next Nissan Micra
  • Aimed at? Trendsetting hipsters needing family space
  • When can I have one? Late 2024/early 2025
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