Renault announced the new 5 EV well over a year ago, and we're still over a year away from it arriving. New spy photos have captured an early development prototype out testing, showing off the new car for the first time. However, the vehicle is so early in its development that Renault hides it underneath a Clio body, revealing little of the upcoming car.
Hiding under the Clio is Renault's CMF-EV platform, which will underpin the Nissan Micra. Renault tries to hide this, but the widened track is hard to miss with those tacked-on wheel arches. However, those aren't the only signs that this is an EV. At the front, the entire half of the grille houses the charge port, and the thicker floor that houses the battery is visible underneath.
Gallery: Renault 5 Spy Photos
Renault previewed the return of the 5 with a concept, but it's unclear how much of its design will translate into the final product. The concept featured retro-inspired look with blocky styling, exaggerated wings/fenders, and a sporty appearance. We hope the final product retains the concept's styling as much as possible.
The French automaker has revealed little about the car. We don't have any powertrain details, but all signs point to the new 5 replacing the Zoe E-Tech in Renault's lineup, which returns up to 238 miles of range on the forgiving WLTP. The 5 will have to achieve close to this figure if Renault wants to ensure that the Zoe's replacement will continue to be a sales success.
Alpine, Renault's performance brand, could also get its hands on the 5. There is a report that suggests the model will undergo an Alpine makeover. The hotter EV will allegedly have a single-motor setup powering the front wheels, delivering 215 bhp (160 kilowatts), which is more than the standard 5 that's expected to produce 134 bhp (100 kW).
The new 5 still has a lot of development ahead of it. We don't expect the automaker to begin testing production-bodied prototypes until sometime next year, and we have no idea when Renault will officially reveal it. The new model won't arrive until 2024, and that's still months away.