Reports have emerged that Renault is seriously considering a reborn version of the Renault 5 to take on such retro-flavoured compact cars as the Fiat 500 and Mini.
According to a company insider speaking to Autocar, Renault is not open to creating a sub-brand in the same vein as Citroën’s DS arm, but the idea of a stylish compact car that pays homage to the 5 is a viable option.
"We're seriously thinking about bringing back the Renault 5 to underpin the Clio," confirmed the source within Renault. "For it to be a credible car it would have to offer more than a Twingo. That would mean it wouldn't have to just be good dynamically, but would have to introduce a notion of the revolution that the 5 brought to the market in 1972, both in terms of technology and positioning."
The new 5 would allow Renault to take on the likes of Fiat and Mini with a specialty supermini of its own, but the new car would have to meet a couple of essential provisios in order to do so.
While the 5 would be pitched against retro-styled competition, Renault’s designers will be wary of going too retro with the new car – especially when the company is moving into a more forward-looking phase in its design language. Even so, the new car will probably feature modern interpretations of the original's key design features, such as vertically stacked taillamps, a slender grille flanked by rectangular headlamps and possibly an angular silhouette similar to that of the original.
The interior will be more sumptuously appointed than that of the original, which, while featuring a fairly avant-garde facia design for its time was till quite plasticky and spartan. As with the Fiat 500 and Mini, the 5’s design will probably integrate a good degree of customisable elements, both inside and out.This would fly in the face of the original car's cheap 'n cheerful persona but the flag is already being flown by the Twingo.
When the original Renault 5 first emerged in the 1970s, it played a big role in establishing a blueprint for many supermini offerings today. The new car, should it get the green light, will probably be underpinned by the Renault-Nissan alliance's B-platform earmarked for the Clio 4 which is set to make its debut at the Paris Motor Show in September.