Paris: Renault is gearing up for an all-electric future in Europe, but the French carmaker is by no means letting go of its wild streak.
Proof of this comes in the R5 Turbo 3E concept, which is a high-performance electric hatchback that was purpose-designed for drifting.
Paying homage to the legendary Renault 5 Turbo models of yesteryear, the R5 Turbo 3E concept is powered by two electric motors that exclusively power the rear wheels with up to 280kW and 700Nm. That’s enough to launch the car from 0-100km/h in just 3.5 seconds, says Renault, or 3.9 seconds in Drift Mode.
“The R5 Turbo 3E is engineered for performance and tracks. It’s an all-electric, rear-wheel drive, pure drifter. Like its iconic predecessor, it is strictly a two-seater. However, the rear now houses the powertrain – two electric motors, each moving one of the wheels, with the batteries in the middle under the floor,” Renault says.
The concept is built around a tubular chassis, which is protected by a flat base and shielded by FIA-approved roll bars. The body is made from carbon fibre, and the bonnet, doors and cockpit are the same shape as earlier Renault 5s. There’s also a huge rear spoiler that was designed to pull the car to the ground, even on the “wildest” drifts.
Renault says its 42 kWh battery has enough capacity for several laps or a raging gymkhana, although no range figure has been provided.
And, because everyone likes to film their exploits these days, the car also comes with 10 mounting brackets for cameras, spread throughout the exterior and interior.
Renault refers to the cabin as a modern and cheerful combination of motorsport and video-game inspiration. There’s space for just two occupants, who sit in carbon fibre racing bucket seats, and like any good drifting machine, the R5 features a large, upright handbrake lever.
There’s also a built-in teddy bear, for in case you feel like a cuddle after all that hard-core driving.
While much of the cabin design takes inspiration from earlier R5 models, the 10 analogue dials facing the driver have been replaced by 10 digital screens, which operate like widgets. Oh, and you start the car by pressing the “free play” button on the centre console, in another node to the gaming world.
The Renault 5 is set to be reborn as an affordable electric car for the modern era and it will be inspired by the Renault 5 Concept that was revealed in early 2021. Although it’s not going to be anywhere near as wild as the R5 Turbo 3E concept car featured in this story, there are rumours of an Alpine badged hot-hatch version, which will hopefully provide some of the thrills that this drifting show car promises.