This sparkling Renault show car celebrates the 5's 50th birthday | Top Gear
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Tuesday 29th November
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This sparkling Renault show car celebrates the 5's 50th birthday

The Renault 5 is 50 years old. The Diamant celebrates the milestone ahead of a new version in 2024

Published: 06 Jul 2022
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Sure, there’s a Renault 5 revival on the way in 2024, but before then the French carmaker has decided to mark the original's 50th birthday with a special one-off show car in dusty pink. 

More than five-million examples of the first-generation supermini were sold between 1972 and 1984, with the second version selling over three-million before being superseded by the Clio

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The show car - which Renault is calling the 5 Diamant - was put together in conjunction with leading French designer Pierre Gonalons, described as one of “Architectural Digest’s 100 leading creators and representative of French arts and crafts”. Which presumably means he’s handy with a glue gun and a tub of glitter. 

We're told the Diamant is an expression of Monsieur Gonalons’ vision of the car of the future, without actually being a car of the future, because it doesn’t bear too much relation to the concept version of the upcoming electric 5.

There are some fun details on show, though. The intriguing steering wheel (check it out in the gallery above) doesn’t look particularly practical – Renault says that “its unique shape doesn’t make it any less driver friendly”, but it’s all twisted up and made of marble. Not sure how that would reflect in the Euro NCAP scores. If it makes production hopefully it’ll be less Gordian knot and more Gordini. 

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The wheels have been inspired by the ones on the classic Renault 5 Alpine Turbo model, which was part of the generation that defined the hot hatch. These wheels have a sun motif at the centre of them, which is apparently a signature move by Gonalons.

Renault says that various details have been inspired by jewellery, the digital dials on the instrument panel paying tribute to watchmaking, while the headlights and rear lights are said to resemble gems. 

There’s all sorts of fancy craftsmanship on display too – the horsehair fabric covering the dashboard was weaved by the only workshop left in the world that still does it by hand, the mohair wool carpet was created by artisans from central France and the gilding around the car’s exterior was done by a Paris atelier “known for its punctilious workmanship”. Sounds like an insult, but it apparently isn’t. 

All this would of course make the 5 Diamant a tremendously expensive car, but thankfully the revived 5 EV is expected to cost around £17k when it goes on sale in two years, and Renault has confirmed that it will replace the Zoe. Perhaps the horsehair dash will be offered as an option, though.  

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