Renault had promised “a pop year full of surprises” when it kicked off the 50th anniversary celebrations for the Renault 5, one of its most prominent icons, in January 2022. After taking part in the Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique, Rétromobile motor show, Le Mans Classic and other festive jamborees, then unveiling its Renault 5 Diamant electric show-car, the brand will stage R5 TURBO 3E’s worldwide premiere at the Chantilly Arts & Elegance 2022 contest, which conducted on 25 September.
This all-electric show car’s contribution to the Renault 5’s 50th anniversary celebrations is an up-to-the-minute take and tribute to the most celebrated sports versions: the Renault 5 Turbo and Turbo 2. It has logically been named R5 TURBO 3E, “3” because it follows the Turbo 2 and “E” for electric.
“R5 TURBO 3E combines ultra-tech design and wilfully exuberance with numerous references to the world of car racing and video games. This combination propels the show car into modernity and technology, and it is at the frontier between the real and virtual realms. This pure electric “drifter” demonstrates that electric cars can also be fun with incredible performance!” underlines Renault Design Director, Gilles Vidal.
R5 TURBO 3E is another example, alongside Renault 5 Prototype, of the “electric rebirth” of a flagship model of the brand. Renault is electrifying its history to better prepare its all-electric future in Europe in 2030.
This reinterpretation of the Renault 5 Turbo 2 is deliberately exuberant and its performance is at the top of its class. It will be a show-stopper at the elegance contest in Chantilly, and a perfect fit for this gathering’s ethos, a blend of “the automobile of the future and fashion.”
During the parade, the model and driver accompanying R5 TURBO 3E will wear previously unreleased suits created by La Fameuse, a fashion designer that has built a name for itself by turning existing garments into one-of-a-kind sporty and at the same time classy apparel. These suits use Renault’s vintage signs and colours, featuring bygone-day logos and branded T-shirts combined with today’s style. They were designed as contraries and counterparts: white for the woman and black for the man, with the opposite colour on the arm and leg bands; with X-shaped insets on the woman’s legs and diamond-shaped insets on the man’s legs. The fabric is padded to befit the sportwear universe and combined with a printed Renault monogram.
A High Performer Designed to Drift
R5 TURBO 3E is engineered for performance and tracks, a pure drifter, all-electric, and a rear-wheel drive. Like its iconic predecessor, it is strictly a two-seater. Now, however, the rear houses the powertrain – two electric motors, each moving one of the wheels, with the batteries in the middle under the floor.
R5 TURBO 3E is built on a tubular chassis, protected by a flat base and shielded by roll bars approved by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). The motor has 280 kW (eq. 380 hp) of total power and 700 Nm of instantly available torque.
This new-generation R5 Turbo 2 can zip across 100 metres from standstill in only 3.5 seconds (3.9 seconds in Drift mode) and reach a top speed of 200 km/h. Its 42 kWh battery has plenty of capacity for several laps or a raging gymkhana. In these situations, it has a 50-plus steering angle so it’s easier to dodge obstacles.
To facilitate the recording of the performances made on board, R5 TURBO 3E comes with 10 or so mounting brackets for cameras inside and outside – for instance in the slots for the headlights and for the exterior mirrors, which are perfect to get the best footage of its drifting prowess.
Exuberance, Fun and Iconic References
“A work of art with exaggerated lines, inspired by the videogame universe, with hints at the Renault 5 and Renault 5 Turbo inside as much as out.” This was the brief handed to the teams working with Sandeep Bhambra, Chief Designer for Renault concept cars, for the R5 TURBO 3E show car.
And the result is spectacular! The bonnet, doors and cockpit are the same shape as their predecessors – but this time the body is made of carbon fibre. R5 TURBO 3E, in other words, is unmistakably part of the dynasty – and boisterous about it. It also has a fresh take on the Turbo 2’s iconic air inlets on the rear fenders. It’s 2.02 metres wide (25 cm more than its forbear), 4 metres long and 1.32 metres high. Its most striking feature is its huge rear spoiler that claws the car to the ground even on the wildest drifts.
The large air inlets on R5 TURBO 3E’s front bumper cool the engine and add downforce. The three vertical sections are instantly reminiscent of the Renault 5 Turbo 2’s bumper. The square fog lights look a lot like the ones “back in the day” – but now there are four and each contains 16 LEDs.
There are also pink, blue and yellow LED strips at the front and rear, which flash when the car drifts, adding a 1980s and 1990s videogame vibe. Retro videogames also provided the inspiration for the camouflage stickers adorning the body. Lastly, the Plexiglass windows are pink and a sticker reading “La vie en rose” on the rear left window adds a sweet je-ne-sais-quoi to this show car’s universe.
The hints at history in R5 TURBO 3E’s design are the opposite of nostalgic. On the contrary, by their contemporary and playful treatment, they propel the show car into modernity.For example, the air inlet on the bonnet – another wink at the Renault 5 Turbo 2 – houses the opening for the battery charging socket. And the see-through parts of the body – especially the ones above the taillights – provide windows to admire the show car’s electric mechanism.