2022 marks the 50th anniversary of the iconic Renault 5. A true symbol of pop-culture, more than five million units of the model were sold in several countries between 1972 and 1984.
To celebrate the Renault 5’s 50th anniversary, Renault decided to join forces with a prominent designer who ranks among Architectural Digest’s 100 leading creators and representative of French arts and crafts. The conversations between Pierre Gonalons and the Renault Design Colours amd Trims team led to the creation of the Renault 5 Diamant (“Diamond”) electric show-car.
The Renault 5 Diamant has kept the instantly recognisable look and unmistakeable shape of the original “supercar” that first rolled off Renault production lines in 1972. But a lot has changed beyond the familiar silhouette.
The first modern touch is under the bonnet: a 100% electric engine. Visually, the design includes first-rate details merging into an all-new, sophisticated effect that urges you to take a closer look.
When you look at it from the outside, you see the body has been streamlined so that Renault 5’s distinctive lines stand out. The usual add-ons were deliberately removed from their environment, and their shape and finish were magnified. The head and rear lights have gem-like faces, while the wide wheels, inherited from the Alpine version, are smoother and have a sun at the centre, a symbol Pierre Gonalons holds dear. The exterior colour is a combination of three layers of paint: golden pigments on a pink base, covered with frosted varnish producing a wide variety of effects ranging from golden dashes in the sunshine to bluer tones in the dark.
The interior is eminently lean. Tapping into expertise from Renault Design and the artisans involved in this project, Pierre Gonalons simplified the car, keeping only a handful of very specific items. The door handles, window winders and shift lever have truncated spheres, featuring distinctly Parisian hints such in brass gilded with pale gold, stainless materials, and hard-wearing materials. The steering wheel is marble on carbon and its unique shape does not make it any less driver-friendly.
The Renault 5 Diamant also has plenty of technology. Besides being all-electric, it comes with a fingerprint scanner to unlock the doors and, as an all-electric vehicle, it features a three-position sequential shift lever (forward, neutral, reverse). Three round digital dials, which pay tribute to the art of clockmaking, provide the essential information: speed, battery charge and the time. The navigation and infotainment can be conveniently supplied by the owner’s smartphone, which fits in a dedicated cradle in the middle of the dashboard.
Renault 5 Diamant looks great down to the tiniest details. It is made from superlative materials supplied by craftspeople who have earned acclaim for their unrivalled expertise and excellent handwork. The show-car is for instance packed with the experience of Design et Solution, a company that specialises in producing extraordinary vehicles and was tasked with the development, assembly and finishing touches.
Several artisans who work with Pierre Gonalons on a regular basis also pooled their expertise on this project. Specifically, the steering wheel and storage compartment are made of French Grand Antique d’Aubert marble, recycled by Minéral Expertise and cast into tubes to make it lighter and more malleable; the fabric covering the seats as well as the horsehair fabric covering the dashboard was produced by textile editor Métaphores, the only workshop in the world that still weaves horsehair by hand; the mohair wool carpet is made by Pinton, one of France’s last tapestry artisans, based in Aubusson; lastly, the gilding on the car’s finishing touches, including the monogram on the bonnet, is made by Bertin-Aubert, an atelier in Paris known for its punctilious workmanship.
After gathering communities of enthusiasts on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube, and most recently setting up official pages on TikTok and Pinterest, Renault has decided to venture into the NFT universe.
On this project, Renault and Pierre Gonalons will also develop a large collection of NFTs inspired by Renault 5 Diamant that will be unveiled in September.
Renault 5 Diamant will be put up for auction a few weeks later with its NFT digital twin. The proceeds from the sale will be donated to Give Me 5, the brand’s new CSR project to reach out to young generations through sport and music.
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