Renault 5 classic car review

Renault 5 classic car review
t was in 1972 that the Renault 5 hit the small car market, dominated at the time by the Renault 4 and Citroën's 2 CV. It swiftly carved out a place for itself. More powerful and sexier-looking than its competitors, it asserted itself as "the" small car of the 1970s and 80s. Its high tech and high style were confirmed by high sales of over five million units.

The Renault 5, a new concept in cars.
In the early 1970s, the automobile market was sharply segmented into only three classes of vehicle: big, small and medium-sized. Though all three were generally sturdy and reliable, only big cars could lay claim to comfort, elegance and power.
In 1968 Renault CEO, Pierre Dreyfus, sensed the market was ripe for a new concept in small cars. He envisioned a vehicle which was as robust as the 2 CV and Renault 4, but more stylish and faster on the open road. The concept was dubbed "Project 122", and was to give birth to the Renault 5. Designers, graphic artists and engineers went to work.

They soon determined the basic blueprint: a stubby bonnet, two long side doors, a full-size tailgate down to the rear bumper, large windows, and rounded lines. The Renault 5 would revolutionize the market by marrying seemingly opposing features. Practical yet stylish, compact yet spacious, it was both good on the open road and streetwise in built-up areas. The Renault 5 was a car that reconciled opposites in a miracle recipe of many ingredients. Its body was built on a crushproof central structure. Its two long doors with embedded handles lent it sleekness. Its spacious boot boasted 270 dm3 of stowage space, which could be more than tripled to 900 dm3 when the back seats were folded down. All at an affordable price.

Its technological advances related mainly to engine power. Although more powerful with its new camshaft and/or greater capacity, the baseline Renault 5's powertrain was modeled on the Renault 4L's engine, in turn derived from the 4CV's. It also boasted new safety features. The front of the car collapsed on impact, so affording the central passenger cabin full protection.

Inside:
The Renault 5 was positioned as the antithesis of the bourgeois car. Its style was youthful and groovy. It had a stowage box instead of a glove compartment and rush-like compressed fiber roof padding instead of fake velour. The instrument panel housing dials and indicator lights was square. The vehicle's interior colours were vivid - greens, oranges and even bright red. Plastic was proud to be plastic and no longer sought to imitate leather.

Renault 5 Successful launch
The launch campaign targeted a range of motorists: buyers of affordable vehicles (the Renault 5 was a small car, after all), young people, city dwellers and women. To hit home, adverts depicted the Renault 5 as a cartoon character, "Supercar". Never before had a motor vehicle been likened to a person who talked and had smiling eyes. The cute and chummy Renault 5 wooed and won the public at large.

Instant commercial success
By the end of the year 1972 the Renault 5 had already secured a 5% share of the French automobile market. Two years later in the wake of the first oil crisis which sent shockwaves through the global market, it clinched top spot with 11% of sales. Its low fuel consumption struck a chord with consumers. Already number two in Europe that year, it was number one by 1977. And when the five-door hatchback hit the market, the Renault 5 became the world's second most widely sold car.

Renault 5 classic car review

Renault 5 classic car review

Renault 5 classic car review

Renault 5 classic car review

Renault 5 classic car review



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