Renault has unveiled the R5 Turbo 3E drifter in celebration of 50 years since the original Renault 5
First came the quirky Renault 5 Diamant we saw a few months back, and now the French brand has revealed the Renault R5 Turbo 3E as a continuation of its celebration of the 50th anniversary of the original Renault 5. Oh, and to continue stirring up excitement for the upcoming Renault 5 EV. In a move right out of Porsche’s marketing department, the R5 Turbo 3E doesn’t actually have a turbo – it’s actually a 375bhp electric drifting machine. See, Renault is still capable of making cool stuff, even if it’s busy lending Mitsubishi the humdrum Captur to stick its badges onto.
The Turbo 3E comes with some pretty radical styling features but sticks with the original iconic angular Renault 5 body as a base, albeit this time made from carbon fibre. There’s nods to the original Turbo 2 at the rear, with the two large air inlets cut into a wide body kit. Rather than the vertical rear lights of the original, Renault has added horizontal LED bars to the area where air ducts would have sat on the old Turbo models. The most striking styling feature, however, is the massive rear wing that appears to be wider than the whole car itself.
Renault says there are plenty of references to retro ‘80s and ‘90s video games – a blue, pink and yellow LED light bar which flashes when the car drifts spans the whole front of the car. The car also sits on some pretty cool throwback turbofan wheels. The dazzling camouflage livery covering the whole car is just how we’d imagine Ken Block would spec his Renault 5 if he had one.
On the inside, the Turbo 3E is a two-seater, just like its Turbo predecessors. There’s a pink and yellow tartan pattern to the upholstery and the car is fitted with carbon-fibre racing bucket seats. The analogue dials of the classic Turbo are replaced with a digital gauge cluster which also allows for a choice of three driving modes: Turbo (for drifting), Track Invader and Donut.
The Turbo 3E is built on a tubular chassis and uses a 42kWh battery paired with a motor capable of 375bhp and 516lb ft of torque. This gives it a top speed of 125mph. To make it easier to slide around at sharp angles, it has a steering angle of over 50 degrees. Because the R5 Turbo 3E is designed to show off, Renault has built mounting brackets inside and out for cameras to record when you’re burning rubber.
A French concept car wouldn’t be complete without an extra dose of quirkiness, either – Renault is keen to point out the R5 Turbo 3E is joined by a teddy bear named ‘Drifty’ who the brand says ‘is there to relax and comfort passengers overwhelmed by the show car’s muscle.’ OK, then…
The R5 Turbo 3E will be on display at the Chantilly Arts & Elegance Contest 2022 on 25 September, and then Renault’s stand at the 2022 Paris Motor Show from 17 to 23 October, if you want to get a glimpse of the quirky car in the metal.