2022 marks 50 years since we first saw the Renault 5 and the French firm is celebrating with a ‘reinterpretation’ of it, called the R5 Turbo 3E. A one-off show car referencing the Renault 5 Turbo, it’s set for a public debut at the Chantilly Arts and Elegance concours later this month, before making its way to the Paris Motor Show.
The R5 Turbo 3E, along with this year’s Renault 5 Diamante recreation, should help build excitement for the upcoming new Renault 5 EV based on the R5 concept that has been confirmed to go on sale in 2024.
The original Renault 5 was designed by Michel Boue, who unfortunately died before the car’s launch in 1972. It’s unlikely either Renault or Boue would’ve expected the Renault 5 to go on to be the best-selling car in France for the next 14 years, totalling 5.5 million sales.
It’s also unlikely that Boue or Renault could have foreseen the wild mid-engined Turbo models born from the rallying world. The new R5 Turbo 3E takes plenty of inspiration from the iconic Turbo 2 as well as the ‘Superproduction’ that competed in the French Touring Car Championship of the 1980s.
At the front we can see the typically bluff front end of the 5, this time incorporating a full-width lightbar and two pairs of LED fog lights further down. The front end also features three large air inlets to cool the powertrain and add downforce.
Renault says the Turbo 3E shares the same bonnet, doors and cockpit as the original Turbo, but the body is made from carbon fibre. Bigger haunches make the car 25cm wider than the Turbo 2, while at the rear there’s a huge spoiler and an aggressive diffuser for yet more downforce.
The Turbo 3E is powered by an all-electric 42kWh battery with rear-wheel drive and Renault says it’s a “pure drifter”, rather than a rally or track car. It has two electric motors, one to power each rear wheel, for a total of 280kW and 700Nm. Renault claims a 200km/h top speed and a 0-100km/h time of 3.5 seconds. It will also completely recharge its battery in two hours.
Inside those rose-tinted windows you’ll find an interior inspired by video games, says Renault, with carbon-fibre bucket seats, safety harnesses, a Sabelt steering wheel and an extended handbrake lever – a must for drift cars. With the emphasis on making a drift car, Renault has added extra steering angle and the LED lights will flash when drifting. There’s even a teddy bear inside that the company has named ‘Drifty’.