It was all the way back in January 2021 when Renault signaled the return of its iconic 5 with a namesake concept previewing an all-electric supermini. Ahead of the production model's debut next year, the French marque is finally ready to share some preliminary technical specifications. It will ride on the CMF-B EV platform and borrow up to 70 percent of parts from the CMF-B-based Clio hatch and Captur subcompact crossover.

Using existing hardware will help Renault cut production costs by 30 percent compared to the Zoe, which will not live to see a next generation. One major difference between the two small EVs will be represented by the number of battery modules as the upcoming model will have just four large modules arranged in a single layer whereas the Zoe uses 12 smaller modules.

Doing so will allow the engineers to shave off 15 kilograms (33 pounds). They're also promising more energy density than the Zoe's pack and increased underbody rigidity by better integrating the battery into the platform around it. The beefier floor will reduce noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) levels.

We are happy to report Renault intends to give the new 5 a multi-link rear suspension, which is a rarity in the B-segment. Lest we forget Alpine has confirmed it will launch its own version of the reborn R5, and you can rest assured it will take full advantage of the independent rear suspension to make the electric hot hatch a hoot to drive on a twisty road. The battery will be mounted under the floor to lower the center of gravity, therefore making the car more agile.

The company with the diamond logo isn't saying anything about power for the time being, only mentioning the R5 will use an electric motor with technology derived from the Megane E-Tech Electric. It'll have a new internal architecture that will not only reduce the motor’s size but also its weight.

Meanwhile, spy shots have revealed the R5 disguised as a test mule using the Clio's body. Renault is testing nine vehicles in northern Europe but also in the Paris region and Normandy. Tucked away in 272 hectares of forest, the Renault site in Aubevoye spans 613 hectares and boasts 35 tracks covering 37 miles (60 kilometers), 42 test lines, two wind tunnels, and no fewer than 18 corrosion chambers.

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