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Zapping Autonews Green Electric cars: the novelties of the year 2022

Fashion is starting again. With the Renault 5, the diamond brand is inspired by the moment. In addition to the future electric Renault 5 of 2024, whose yellow prototype presented in 2020 already announced its color, it is with the model released in 1972 that the French house in the meantime wants to show what occupies it. And the timing is right, as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the iconic car, which has sold more than five million copies in twelve years. The result is a sort of jewel, christened Renault 5 “Diamond” and shaped by the “Colors and Materials” team of the Design department, in collaboration with the French interior designer and designer Pierre Gonalons. The neo-retro look is rather subtle, more visible on approach, from the LED backlit grilles or the integration of onboard technology.

From a distance we see above all a Renault 5 of yesteryear but even purer, more in the spirit of a “Restomod”, among other things “Retrofit”. Meaning what ? It maintains its original appearance, revises its overall finish according to current standards and replaces its combustion engine with an electric one with battery according to the retrofit principle. Within about five months, the “5” was therefore completely overhauled and is still functional. However, it’s just a concept with no apparent charging socket, the connection is made under the car and the trunk volume is cluttered with all the operating electronics, out of sight. Art-deco mobile stand, street homologation moves away with every style effect evoking luxury and chic furniture.

24 carat

Renault 5 DiamondStart presentation
Renault 5 | Photo of the Diamant model designed by Pierre Gonalons
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Renault 5 DiamondCredit photo – Autonews

Its matte candy pink color is immediately scented, enhanced by gold anodized touches on the bumpers, sills, radiator grille, mirrors, decorative inserts in the rear pillars and along the entire roofline. Nothing illegal to drive, unlike the bonnet-pulled headlight blocks, whose glass is worked like a huge faceted diamond. The Renault 5 Diamant would fail the pedestrian protection tests but would find its place in a beauty contest. Its vocation is the exhibition, firmly planted on relatively wide wheels with the latest Michelin tires, embellished with totally solid, white hollow rims equipped with a rounded black flange on which the golden sun symbol shines in the center.

The golden logo at the end of the cap, made by the Parisian workshop Bertin-Aubert, takes the initials of Pierre Gonalons around the diamond designed according to the style used in the 70s, which is ultimately very close to its most modern iteration. He signs the R5 Diamant as a large branded bag and makes you want to take a look inside.

Nothing simpler for that. The brass handles, gilded with pale gold, in the shape of a sphere, dress the doors like those of the entrances to the buildings of the beautiful districts of the capital. Tactile, take them to open them. The passenger compartment is a real comfortable and bright living room, also one of the most original. Mainly with this steering wheel whose crown and the branch that connects it to its axis are made of a piece of marble, applied to a twisted carbon tube. Marble that sits as a central storage compartment and holder for the three-position driving direction selector, also in a pale gold-coated sphere.

Technological class

Renault 5 DiamondStart presentation
Renault 5 | Photo of the Diamant model designed by Pierre Gonalons
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Renault 5 DiamondCredit photo – Autonews

All driving information is transcribed on three round and 100% digital dials, one dedicated to the digital clock, the other two to the display of speed, energy consumption, battery level … A very recent interface, completed by a phone holder with USB connector, which will act as an on-board multimedia system, perfectly integrated into the dashboard, in the shape of a connecting tube between the two sides of the car, partially covered with hand-woven horsehair by the specialized company Le Horsehair.

All the surfaces of the door panels, the headliner and under the dashboard are made of absolutely smooth light velor. The mats exude quality through the use of mohair wool, in a warm brown color. The semi-enveloping seats combine a dynamic appearance through their shape and their sand-colored suede exterior with great seating comfort in the central part, covered with partly wool fabric.

The production electric Renault 5 will offer less of this chic side and its concept heralds a more dynamic spirit that completely alienates it from the goldsmith business. The suspense is therefore still total on the final result. Patience remains. The new 4L generation arriving a year later, in 2025, would imagine another unusual interpretation of this flagship model from the Boulogne-Billancourt house, just to speed up times and discover it too in an unexpected outfit. .

to summarise

Protagonist of Renault’s electric products plan for the years to come, the reinterpretation of the electric version of the Renault 5, scheduled for production in 2024, still requires some patience before being discovered. This candy pink Renault 5 “Diamond” concept car modernizes the original, also makes it electric and will occupy people’s minds for probably a bit shorter wait.

Quentin Cazergues

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