Chris Harris on… the new Renault 5 EV: “The French have rediscovered their mojo”

Chris Harris on… the new Renault 5 EV: “The French have rediscovered their mojo”


Chris Harris sits down with Jack Rix – Editor of Magazine – to chat about the upcoming all-electric, reimagined Renault 5. Is utilising the back catalogue demonstrative of an imagination deficit, or should it be plundered at will? Let’s find out. Series 30: Geneva Online Motor Show: First Look: Want to watch a bit of on the internet? Welcome to the most comprehensive collection of official clips you’ll find on YouTube. Whether you’re searching for a caravan challenge, Ken Block in the Hoonicorn, cars versus fighter jets, Stig power laps or the latest Chris Harris Drives, you can find all the iconic films here.Want to share your views with the team?

okay chris this is the news that uh renault has uh revealed a renault five concept reviving the renault five and as a lover of french tat um just wanted to get your thoughts on it french car companies have arguably the funkiest back catalogue of stuff to go and revisit you could say um they’re they’re post and slightly pre-war vehicles have been quirky fascinating i think what citroen could go and do if they wanted to there’s so much funky stuff yeah that they could revisit so i’m really glad that reynolds had to go there should be no shame in in going back there and plundering it the idea of a great looking little concept that’s fully electric you know you take all the best bits of a zoey and make it look like a renault five and a bit more range yeah i mean yeah it looked fantastic that’s so good isn’t it yeah it’s sort of one of those ideas it’s so simple and when it’s executed properly you’re just going done i thought about you i had to peer it a bit and go run if i you know there is the real life yeah when you see those tablets you go oh um but it wasn’t a complete pastiche yeah so i think they’re on a roll i don’t know you just feel sorry for particularly the french manufacturers and some of the italians as well that operate in that space they have to sell cars at a certain price point you know that sadly those brands can’t exist at you know 50 to 100 000 pounds so where’s the margin now how many of these things they got to sell to make some money it must cost billions to develop them and if they try and sell it for 25 grand no one’s going to buy it yeah you know the honda that you’re knocking around in is great but i i bet you it’s not selling that well because it’s just it’s it goes it’s a 100 mile range and it’s 30 grand yeah it’s you know that’s that’s a luxury item yeah so can they can renault knock these things out for 15 grand i’m not sure they can well it’s interesting you say because it’s going to be very similar tech under a lot of cars you’ve got a skateboard chassis one or two motors and then it’s all about the body on top isn’t it that’s where the emotion is that’s how you sell the car coach working interiors all of that will become absolute really i’m excited by it but the french seem to have slightly rediscovered their mojo at a time where the germans are slightly losing theirs it’s interesting isn’t it you know every time i see it the new little peugeot on the road i just think it looks fantastic renault is rediscovering its mojo bmw is all over the place some strange mainstream car companies are doing well mazda’s just look consistently good looking volvos good looking cars when you see an x4 you just go so it’s it’s bizarre no a good work from renault i saw it and just thought come on la regie sorry la reggie you know the criticism is oh it’s just lazy design look look at you look at your back catalog oh that was well loved let’s make one of those but if you’ve got the back catalog you said it you got the heritage you use it because you’ve got all these electric startups coming online they haven’t got any of that they’ve just got a pen something from scratch exactly why not pluck our heartstrings i think so as well there’s nothing there’s nothing to be ashamed of if peugeot made a car that looked at the 205 we’ve said it for years it would sell like you know the thing is the the the new 208 you know there’s there’s little bits of 205 in it but not enough not enough so this renault five is more overtly you know a modern refresh doesn’t know i’m i’m all in favor they need to go for it did you ever own a r5 no my brother had one i was always a 205 man but he had a proper old series one with a little 1.1 liter engine in it and uh and the roll angles he could generate in the thing i mean i looked like it was upside down half the time but so comfortable small french cars from the 70s and 80s were a high point of all car design because they went their own way that’s what i loved about the the the shift in in the way car companies have behaved over the last few years particularly with the advent of the suv for me is that 60s 70s and 80s car companies were bold and they made decisions and they conjured solutions to the way people interact with machines and so this is what we’re going to do and we’re going to sell it to you now people focus group things and say what do you want and everyone goes i want to be big and strong and i want to make out like i’ve got a massive willie and and they give you an suv and then that’s why they don’t invite you to focus exactly and and so and then and then they turn on answers and go well the customer told us they wanted that we need clever engineers to say we’ve done this i know the great example of this and i’ve bored you with it before is the 550 marinello one of the best ferraris ever and then i think i always brought you back with the steve jobs example which is the ipod he didn’t refuse to do any focus groups or ask anyone what they wanted this is in my brain i’m gonna offer it to you ferrari says to 550 customers how do you want us to face lift your car and they they said three different things all of which made the 575 yeah so don’t ask people for advice no there you go um running five turbo have you ever had to go in one of those yes proper ones yes our cover test was the homologation specials together was it turbo 2 or turbo one so that’s very very rare yeah there’s so few of those yeah it did feel yeah a bit precious when we were around what color interior red or something mad interior sort of marine blue and bright red with a hi-fi that was stuck to the i think it was aftermarket stuck to the ceiling i was unbelievable but i thought the sport quattro was going to steal the show such a cool thing to look at it’s quite sort of forgettable to drive yeah and the turbo was just i think that’s a good turbo there wasn’t it there are there are turbos and there are turbos yeah it’s good it was a good one now turbo one is a rare car because that was the original homologation car um but i’m thinking this new turbo right you got your batteries under the floor plan check out the back seats a secondary stack of batteries just to give you that weight distribution better range just sounds like an accident waiting to happen to me no i just wanted a raider back in the day i’m trying to get insurance on a raider and i couldn’t we just couldn’t get insurance on them back then and really you were either a peugeot man or a renault man it was you know it’s very partisan and i’d i’d pinned my colors to the peugeot mast and i wasn’t gonna yeah you weren’t gonna shift and you were gonna shift the legions well here’s your chance then to we touched on it before if if we’re going to revive some other french cars from the from the back catalog yeah what deserves to be remade faithfully i think no i’d leave the four alone because i think the four is too special i think i think the two cars you have to lean a little leave alone on the four and the two tv i just don’t know they did a two cv concept years ago they did it but you’ve got to leave those two alone they are the holy grail and they deserve to be left in peace i’d say citroen cx i want to drive a big french saloon car again we haven’t had one since the c6 which still looks amazing to me but the idea of a big french car that’s basically got two sofas in it there’s a big citron coming out second half of this year is there yeah we don’t know what it is they’re just calling it le big city they’ve been giving us all sorts but i love the i want something i want to see the french president being driven around in a car from france again and i want that crazy dashboard with the thing the globe that moves there a single spoke steering wheel all of the french design cues and it has to be so comfortable that the driver needs to have a thing that pinches into people in the wake him or her awake you know so you’re so comfortable like wake me up so one of those i also think a visa would be good a va or gs would be fun as well or an ami eight how about an ammy with the crazy one of those i mean the name fuego is so good and the car was so so bad that it deserves another shot i think one of those but i would also say just because i never understood the name when i was a car magazine reading teenager i want a renault 19 chamad i still what is a chamad that was the saloon everyone watching furiously googled why did they call it the chamad so the french back catalogue is rich and should be plundered at will

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