The Renault 5 Prototype: Shining a light on the past with the iconic wink

Added: 12 February 2021

A key part of the original Renault 5’s cult status was its playful character and design. As early as 1972 – the year it was launched – Renault personified its look in ‘Les aventures de Supercar’, the famous advertising cartoon, while also appearing on the roads during the ‘Take the wheel’ operation that was in place at the same time. The Renault 5’s most recognisable feature was the set of eyes in the headlights as it drove around ‘meeting’ the French people. It’s a familiar look that Nicolas Jardin aimed to reproduce on the Renault 5 Prototype, while making it more modern and bringing it into the present.

A cult look reimagined
From the heart of the Technocentre, the site where Groupe Renault concept cars and models are developed, Nicolas Jardin reveals the genesis of the project: “The work on the prototype was not a free subject. It was a work of reinterpretation of the R5 and its projection into the future, to make it a modern object.”

In reimagining and redesigning the original car’s recognisable headlights with a modern, technological twist, “everything started from the lines, angles and radii of the elements of the front of the original R5. Then, during the sketches, the headlights completely changed in their proportions as well as their design.”

The rectangular daytime running lights, are positioned lower down the front of the vehicle and are reminiscent of the additional fog lights of the original Renault 5 which fit into the bumper in body colour. Nicolas Jardin said: “Their crystal and three-dimensional treatment and very precise cut evokes the qualities of sharp laser cutting, bringing in the worlds of aerodynamics and aeronautics.”

Advanced lighting technology
Finally, modern processes have been utilised in the reinvention of the iconic R5. One of these being the distinctive light units, the dynamic lighting signature uses LED matrix technology to bring the headlights to life. This is demonstrated by the Renault 5 Prototype’s welcome sequence where the new logo illuminates and initiates an animation that extends into the front grille, moving outwards to the main lights that then come to life, as if the car is blinking. “Thanks to the matrix technology and animations in the welcome sequence, we were able to recreate the expressiveness and mischievousness of the original car’s look”, said Nicolas Jardin.

Nicolas Jardin concludes: “To be a worthy heir to the R5, the car had to become expressive and lively. We have succeeded with the prototype, a true object of modern design, embodying the Renault ‘joie de vivre’.”

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