If you like a Renault 5 Turbo 2 – and quite frankly, who doesn’t? – then we have some news for you. Great news. It’s the R5 Turbo 3E drift car, which will get its global premiere at the 2022 Chantilly Arts & Elegance contest on the 25th September. It’s called the R5 Turbo 3E because it’s seen as the spiritual successor to the Turbo 2, with the additional ‘E’ marking it out as electric – sadly there’s no manically boosted four-pot here.
Instead, the car has two electric motors – one for each rear wheel, so it’s very much RWD – with up to 380hp and 516lb ft of torque. That sounds like plenty to get the thing sideways. And also enough for 0-62mph in 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 124mph. Power is supplied by a 42kWh battery sat in the middle of the flat floor, surrounded by a bespoke tubular chassis. There’s also an FIA-spec roll cage.
The body is made of carbon fibre and weighs 980kg, although that’s without the battery. That adds an additional 520kg to a car that’s just over four metres long and two metres wide (25mm more than the original), with a wheelbase of 2.54 metres. The steering has been set up to provide 50-plus degrees of steering angle to deliver the sideways spectacle. To capture that, there are 10 camera mounting points inside and out.
I think it’s fair to say it’s a striking-looking thing. Still unmistakably a Renault 5, but one that’s been nursed on steroids to give it an even more exaggerated stance. That includes the massive downforce-inducing rear spoiler and the large inlets in the front bumper, which are said to add more downforce as well as to help cool the drivetrain. It’s not a purely focused thing, though. It’s also irreverent, with pink Plexiglass windows and pink, blue and yellow LED strips at the front and rear that flash as it’s drifting – for that ‘1980s and 1990s videogame vibe’. And it was retro videogames that inspired the camouflage stickers on the body. At the rear, there are transparent parts above the taillights that ‘provide windows to admire the show car’s electric mechanism’.
Inside the two carbon fibre racing buckets, full safety harness and steering wheel are part of a partnership with Sabelt1, and sprouting from the ‘pop’ yellow centre console is the massive upright handbrake. Further retro themes include the black tartan on the seat as dashboard. The more up-to-date elements include a black cork floor, while the dash and doors are treated with some Alcantara. Another nod to the original is the array of 10 dials facing the driver – but these are digital rather than analogue. To start the car you have to push the “Free play” button on the centre console, and the driving modes include ‘Turbo’ for drifting, ‘Track invader’ for playing, and ‘Donut’ for 360° spins.
Along with the physical car, there will also be a digital version that will appear in the Web3 virtual gaming world, but the actual car will move from Chantilly to the Renault stand at the 2022 Paris Motor Show if you prefer to see things in real life.
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