Renault 5, the rebirth of the icon
The beloved compact of the rhombus brand returns in 2024 with an Alpine variant on the horizon
Since it appeared in the early seventies, the original Renault 5 managed to win millions of hearts around the world, especially in France and the rest of Europe. It started as a car that was based on the mechanics of the Renault 4 – the solution of having the exhaust on the side in the first versions – with a much more youthful aesthetic worked wonders, being one of the most popular cars at the time – especially in Spain since it was a national product, being manufactured in Valladolid. Over time, more powerful versions such as the Renault 5 Copa (Alpine in France) or the Turbo would arrive, which turned the small utility vehicle into a true hot hatch. Later, the Tour de Corse or the Clio Maxi appeared, which competed and even won in World Rally Championship events.
After the original Renault 5 came the second generation, a car that, although it looked very similar on an aesthetic level, was practically new in everything. It took the benefits of the first 5, particularly the weight distribution, and became longer and lower, in addition to changing the longitudinal engine for a transverse engine, the same scheme as the popular Mini. The most modest engine it had was the 1.0 with 42 horsepower, scaling the power until it reached a true myth on our roads: the Supercinco GT Turbo with its 1.4 turbocharged 120 horsepower as standard, a car that really became a little bomb. atomic vehicle on wheels that all the young people of the time wanted to pilot. The Supercinco began production in 1984 and remained in production until 1996.
After the 5 would arrive the Renault Clio, which is now in its fifth generation – and, as a worthy successor, all of them have competed either on circuits or in rallies, from Group A as did the Clio 16v and Clio Williams or the more modern FIA R3 (case of the third and fourth generation Clio), in addition to the monstrous Clio V6 that served as a tribute to the Renault 5 Maxi, with the same mid-engine layout. Currently we can find the Renault Clio Rally5 protagonists of the Clio Trophy Spain on asphalt and dirt, the Clio Rally4 valid for participating in national rallies and the Junior RTS Scholarship or the Renault Clio Rally3, being the only one of all the Clios with all-wheel drive. all four wheels. Even so, in regional and historical rallies the Renault 5, particularly the Supercinco GT Turbo, continue to appear and compete.
Aware of its legacy, Renault wanted to recover the 5, among other models, for its long-term electrification strategy. The return of the 5 will be essential, being an economical electric car (supposedly) that will hit the market in 2024. This strategy will lead to a new organization of the group, with the birth of subsidiaries such as Ampere, dedicated to electric cars, or Horse, focused to the development of internal combustion propulsion systems.