Renault 5 E-Tech’s Denim Interior Is A Throwback To The 1980s R5 Blue Jeans Edition

Renault 5 E-Tech’s Denim Interior Is A Throwback To The 1980s R5 Blue Jeans Edition

The Renault 5 E-Tech Electric is bringing style and fun back to the European auto market with a retro design that looks just as good in 2024 as it did in 1972, when the original Renault 5 came out. The 5, also known as the R5 and Le Car, was a huge success for Renault, spawning myriad models and versions across two generations, including the 1989 Renault 5 Blue Jeans Edition, which had a denim interior similar to that of the new Renault 5 E-Tech.

It seems like fashion is, indeed, cyclical and the latest EV from Renault is happy to inherit the hand-me-down style of its predecessor. Fashionable design does not begin and end with a car’s exterior, and the 5 E-Tech proves as much with a cabin that sports a denim interior, from the seats to the dashboard and doors.

Photo: Renault

The denim cabin of the 5 E-Tech looks radical, but it’s not altogether new. In the late ’80s, Renault released the Blue Jeans Edition of its popular 5 model to draw in a younger crowd — the kind that saw Levi’s and Lees as the pinnacle of cool, or the kind that took Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A. as fashion gospel. Far be it from me to denigrate denim or a good stonewash, especially as an interior finish in a car. Leather is the “nice” interior, but alternatives like alcantara and denim are always welcome, and the latter is hardly seen enough.

Photo: Autos Dat
Photo: Autos Dat

The 1989 Renault 5 Blue Jeans also came with other options to make it stand out to younger buyers, including white-painted hubcaps, rear windshield wiper, tinted windows, a number of Blue Jeans logos, and — perhaps, best of all — a decorative side strip over its rear fender that looked like a zipper.

It also came with a removable tape deck for a stereo, which was made in France by Phillips and came with a little handle to carry it around.

Photo: Rare-Automobilia

The Renault 5 Blue Jeans was a limited edition model and not many were made relative to the 5.5 million R5s that spanned production over a period of more than two decades. But the concept of a “blue jeans car” goes back to the 1961 Renault 4, which was designed as versatile machine, a do-it-all vehicle that was suitable for most situations, like a hearty pair of jeans, according to Hagerty.

That concept was later embodied by the Renault 5 Blue Jeans and is now living on with the 5 E-Tech, which lacks a zipper side strip but has a kick-ass denim interior and other charms that lesser, more boring EVs wouldn’t dare debut, like a basket for baguettes.

Photo: Renault
Photo: Renault
Photo: Renault
Photo: Renault
Photo: Renault

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