Ah, the LeCar. We had one of those in the driveway while I was growing up, and I vividly remember being driven to school by my uncle when the little LeCar caught fire. This was, it should be noted, a commonplace enough thing that I simply started spraying the fusebox with the small extinguisher we’d learned to keep in the car. Simpler times.
In more recent times, however, Renault has established itself as a builder of top-line cars, emerged as one of the premier engineering and design firms in the world, and (with their sister company Nissan) have become leaders in EV technology and infrastructure. More than enough of a resume, I think, to tackle competitors like Mini and Fiat in the emerging premium-mini car class.
It should come as no surprise, then, that Renault is considering building a new LeCar (called the “R5” in other markets) to slice up the pie created by Fiat, Mini, and (to a lesser extent) Smart. Autocar reports that the new LeCar is likely to be based on the Renault/Nissan B platform, as used on today’s Renault Clio. Mileage would (of course) be in the high 40 mpg range and – I would guess – an EV version of the premium compact city-car would be a natural, given Renault’s recent flirtations with EVs and Nissan’s massive Leaf investment (scale = profit, as it were).
Autocar expects to see the car ready for action by 2014.