A look back at the Renault 5 (1972 – 1974) 0


There are so few Renault 5s are still on the roads (rust has taken its toll) it’s hard to truly convey to those born after 1984 what a mainstay of UK motoring (yes, I know they’re French) they were only not so long ago.

The creation of designer Michel Boue; he would tragically die just months before the 5 was first released onto the roads in 1971. Initially based on its predecessor, the Renault 4, the R5 also used its longitudinal 845cc engine and torsion bar suspension layout (plus differing left and right wheelbases).

It was the styling that really made the car stand out. One of the original superminis (alongside the Fiat 127 and Autobianchi A112), the Renault 5 was a star from the moment it was released.

Plastic bumpers wrapped around the entire circumference of the car ensured it could take whatever Paris could throw at it. Plenty of differing options were released over the years; more power was slowly but surely added; five door editions were available from 1979. Despite a growing number of rivals attempting to steal its glory, the Renault 5 always remained fashionable. Even when production stopped in 1984, it was still the best selling car in France.

A design classic, assured of its place in history.

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