The first nine prototypes of the Renault 5 are now in testing, and the first leg begins with cold weather validation. The auto maker has revealed that the mules feature the same platform, powertrain and battery that will be applied in the production car. They also have a recharge hatch. However, the form of the future model – which is based on the Clio silhouette – cannot be seen just yet.
Alternating between static and dynamic fine-tuning and endurance testing, the test vehicles are being assessed in low-grip conditions in Arvidsjaur, Swedish Lapland, as well as on average-to-high grip conditions at the Renault technical centers in Lardy in the greater Paris area and Aubevoye, Normandy.
The vehicle’s mechanical performance and powertrain are being checked. Onboard systems including the heating, demisting and defrosting functions will be tested. Checks of the brakes, shock absorbers and ESC will be done to ensure reliable function on snow. Tests to make sure that powder snow does not pile up on the brakes will also be done, as this could lead to vehicle malfunctions.
“Tests being carried out on rolling chassis prototypes will help us confirm decisions made in terms of comfort and handling on the upcoming Renault 5. Without giving anything away, the early test drives are a clear indication that it is a worthy descendant of the Megane E-Tech electric with best-in-class performance for its category; encouraging results that drive us to push ahead with testing through to its commercial launch set for next year,” commented Jérémie Coiffier, head of engineering B EV family, Renault.
Used for the first time on the Renault 5, the new CMF-B EV platform has 70% of the parts from the CMF-B platform, which underpins the Clio and Captur. Compared to Zoe, the CMF-B EV platform is 30% cheaper to manufacture. It is also said to be easier to develop and adapt for vehicles, with adjustable different tracks and wheelbase enabling various body types and styles.
“The new CMF-B EV platform is a great opportunity from a product point of view because it means the future electric Renault 5 will boast real driving pleasure while remaining very competitive for its segment,” said Delphine De Andria, B-EV segment product performance director.
Renault’s site in Aubevoye has 35 tracks covering 60km in total, 42 test lines, two wind tunnels, 18 corrosion chambers – all hidden within 272ha of forest to shield the prototypes from prying eyes.