French Carmaker's New Electric Car Has A Ridiculous Marble Steering Wheel

Electric Vehicles / 8 Comments

We're not sure why either.

The Renault R5 is to the French what the Ford Mustang is to Americans. Or to Brits, the Mini Cooper. It's an icon. A car is so ingrained in the country's social consciousness that it would be impossible to erase. Or to kill. Theoretically. Renault doesn't make the R5 anymore, and even worse, it doesn't make the super-rad 80s Renault 5 Turbo legend anymore either. But, every so often, another manages to eek its way out of the factory.

This one, like so many French machinations (and the original 5) is a weird one. It is an art car, to be sure, but it's likely the absolute last place you'd want to be in the event of a car accident.

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That's because the steering wheel is made of marble, and its designer may have lost their marbles building it. In addition to the highly irregular material choice, the shape of the wheel isn't exactly what we'd call conventional either. It loops at either "end" (we do realize it's a circle) down onto the steering column, which is capped with a logo. Apparently, to account for the weight of the marble, the rest of the wheel is carbon fiber.

The logo there is a combination of Pierre Gonalons' initials and the Renault logo. That collaboration is, rather obviously, what created the Renault 5 Diamant. The rest of the interior is focused on both design and sustainability. Renault has given the car a unique horsehair fabric interior, and the door handles pay homage to Parisian architecture by making use of truncated spheres. The same can be said of the mirrors.

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The car itself is electric, though no specs were provided. Renault will be making a production reincarnation of the R5 at some point in 2024, and this drivetrain is likely somewhat similar. On the outside, there's a fingerprint scanner to lock and unlock the doors, which is surrounded by a three-layer paint with gold pigments, a pink base, and a matte finish. Renault says "Frozen" but between it and BMW, we're getting a bit tired of that particular buzzword.

The mirror housings are made from crystal, and the wheels were done up by Renault's go-fast division, Alpine. When the consumer-grade Renault 5 debuts, Alpine is also expected to do a hotter version of that, which we're very much looking forward to never seeing in the US ever. That was sarcasm. We want it.

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