Concepts are the first transformation of an imaginative idea into a physical form. However no matter how strange the shape is or how fascinating the proportions are, they rarely maintain their stature when moved into production.
The latest example is Renault 5 Diamant, an oddball concept from the French automaker with quirky design choices. Renault teamed up with celebrated French designer and interior architect Pierre Gonalons to bring to life a one-off concept car. According to the automaker, Gonalons “ranks among Architectural Digest’s 100 leading creators and representative of French arts and crafts.”
This is to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the classic Renault 5 hatchback which sold over 5 million units from 1972 to 1996 in several markets across the globe. While the original Renault 5 was powered by a gasoline engine, the R5 Diamant is an EV.
The Diamant (French word for diamond) is a captivating rendition of the Renault 5 design with a frosted pink paint coupled with three layers of golden pigment visible on the car’s lower half. This arrangement produces visual effects ranging from gold flashes when viewed in the sunlight, to bluer tones when viewed in darker conditions.
The fascia features gem-like headlights, a dotted mesh grille above which sits a custom logo. Side profile is very much reminiscent to the original Renault 5 hatchback from the 70s, but the Diamant concept gets unconventional spherical door handles & circular door-muonted side mirrors while the wheels are carried over from the Alpine version of the Renault 5 featuring thick white border giving a perfect retro-feel with sounds pattern in the center. The rear again is similar to the classic Renault 5 and showcases a set of pale gold panels above the rear headlamps. The boot handle is also round in shape just like the door handles.
The interior of the R5 Diamant is perfectly in line with the design language Ganolans is famous for. From a helix-shaped steering wheel made of marble to three digital gauges, the blend of modern touches and abstract designs elevate the almost mythical aura of the Diamant EV. In place of a center console, there is a space designated for smartphone, which doubles as an infotainment system. Other unique touches include a woven horsehair fabric covering on the dashboard, mohair wool carpeting, and accents made of materials such as brass and gold.
Although few technical specs have been provided, we do know that the car is propelled by an electric motor. The driver accesses the vehicle via an external fingerprint scanner, then uses a three-position sequential lever to shift between forward, neutral and reverse drive modes. Commenting about the concept, Pierre Gonalons says:
“As I see it, the Renault 5 embodies a pop, upbeat and categorically contemporary lifestyle. What I wanted to do with Renault 5 Diamant was pay tribute to its revolutionary design and at the same time transfer the shapes and colors in my universe to the automotive world.”
After making some public appearances over the next few months, the Renault 5 Diamant EV will be put up for auction. Of course it goes without saying, only the deep-pocketed people will be entertained.
A 3d animation professional with over 20 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations & production facilities of Pakistan, an avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver writings to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com