The electric, retro-flavored Renault 5 concept introduced in 2021 will spawn a production model in 2024. Development work is ongoing, and the French company released details about the platform it developed jointly with sister company Nissan to underpin the hatchback.
Called CMF-B EV, the architecture is an evolution of the CMF-B platform currently found under several mass-produced models, including the Clio (one of the best-selling cars in Europe) and the second-generation Juke sold in numerous overseas markets. Keeping costs in check was one of the design team's main priorities, so about 70% of the components are shared between the two platforms. In turn, this should make the CMF-B EV platform approximately 30% cheaper to build than the architecture that currently underpins the electric Zoe hatchback.
Renault stresses that the platform is modular. The wheelbase and the track are among the parameters that can be changed, so Renault, Nissan, and Mitsubishi will be able to build several different body styles on it. It's being designed with a multi-link rear axle, which is an unusual configuration in this segment of the European market, and Renault is working on developing a more compact electric motor.
It's too early to provide technical specifications, so we'll need to be patient to find out the 5's horsepower and driving range. In terms of design, we're not expecting significant changes; Renault will very likely tone down the more futuristic styling cues that characterize the 5 concept, including the headlights, but the overall proportions and the references to past models should carry over without major updates.
Renault has built the first nine prototypes and its engineers have started testing them around the world. This is fairly common in the car industry: cold-weather tests are being carried out in Arvidsjaur, a town located south of the Arctic Circle in Sweden, while other tests are being performed on private test tracks far away from prying eyes. Development work will continue in the coming months, and the production version of the 5 is scheduled to make its debut in 2024. Nothing suggests the hatchback will be sold in the United States; Renault exited our market in 1987, but it's not terribly far-fetched to speculate that the CMF-B EV platform could underpin a Nissan model later in the 2020s.
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