Renault tipped to revive classic 4 and 5 nameplates for new EVs
11 January 2021 - autocar
French firm is set to unveil a bold revival plan - which could include the return of some classic nameplates
Renault will reinvent a number of its classic models as electric cars as part of a bold turnaround plan set to be unveiled by new boss Luca de Meo, according to reports.
Former Seat boss de Meo was given the top job at the French giant last year. He has been working on a new business plan to boost sales and reposition the firm, which began last September with the unveiling of a major internal restructure. De Meo is now set to unveil the next phase in his plan on Thursday January 14, in an event billed as a 'Renaulution'.
Reuters, citing two sources, states that de Meo's plan will focus on future product ranges, and will include the revival of at least two classic nameplates to strengthen the focus on Renault's French heritage.
They will include an electric reinvention of the 4L, based on the city car originally launched in the 1960s as a rival to the Mini and Fiat 500. An electric version of the Renault 5, originally offered in two generations from 1972 until it was replaced by the Clio in 1996, is also reportedly set to be revealed.
No more details of the models have been given, but they could potentially share a platform with the existing Zoe electric hatch or use the new Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance CMF-EV electric platform, which Renault will first use for the forthcoming production version of the Megane eVision.
The Megane eVision is a crossover that uses the long-running nameplate of the firm's family hatch, and also features a retro-infused design with numerous nods to Renault's past. As with the Megane, reviving classic model names such as the 4 and 5 would be a way for Renault to pitch early electric models to a more style-focused audience, in a similar way to how Fiat has positioned its new electric 500.
Reuters also claims that Renault will reveal three electric models for its Alpine sub-brand. As previously reported by Autocar, Renault bosses have been considering turning Alpine into an electric-only performance brand, with a reshuffle last year securing the firm's long-term future.
Do Meo's plan is also set to include culling several long-running models that have waned in popularity in recent years, including the Espace MPV.
Renault has declined to comment on the Reuters report.