C'est Magnifique! Reimagined Renault 5 Turbo Unveiled, This Time with All-Electric Guts and a Thirst for Drifting

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Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1664340980513 R5+Turbo+3 E+FeaturedWhen was the last time a Renault made you feel properly pumped up and excited for the future? Say hello to the company's reimagined iconic hatchback, this time powered by electricity and designed to go around corners dramatically – sideways.

Just like Hyundai’s latest N Vision 74 concept car, the cyberpunk-like R5 Turbo 3E ("3" signifying its position as the Turbo 2's successor, and "E" standing for electric) pays tribute to its forefathers, in this case the outrageous 5 Turbo and Turbo 2 rally cars of yesteryear.

It takes distinct design cues from the original 80s hot hatches, down to the fender flares and boxy silhouette, albeit this time with mostly carbon fibre body panels. It's part of the Renault 5's 50th anniversary celebrations, and an "electric rebirth" of sorts for the celebrated compact car.

It also now has a renewed purpose: to go ham around drift or gymkhana courses, or even lapping around tracks.

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Retro-futuristic details found across the drift-ready R5 Turbo 3E include the quartet of square foglights up front – blending nostalgic looks with modern LED technology – as well as the air inlet on the bonnet, which houses the opening for the battery charging socket. It also features a revised inlet design on its rear fenders, which was first seen on the Turbo 2. 

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The madness is more than just skin-deep, as shown by Renault. The R5 Turbo 3E is equipped with state-of-the-art internals, from powertrain to structural rigidity to cabin space.

It's built on a tubular chassis with a flat base serving as protection, further shielded by FIA-approved roll bars. Two electric motors power the rear wheels, tucked away at the back of the car. The 42 kWh batteries, which Renault says are good for "several laps or a raging gymkhana", are stored in the middle, under the floor. 

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Altogether, they motors churn out a combined power figure of 380 horses and 700 Nm of torque, with a century sprint timing of 3.5 seconds (3.9 seconds in Drift Mode) and and a 200 km/h top speed.

Renault has also worked with Sabelt on the tartan-wrapped carbon fibre bucket seats, safety harness, and steering wheel. The iconic instrument cluster found in the original 5 Turbo makes a comeback, just that the analogue dials are now all-digital. All of this is complemented by an upright handbrake lever, encouraging the driver to initiate some proper sideways action.

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The driving modes have also been renamed to be in line with the R5 Turbo 3E's video game-like characteristic. Select "Free Play" to enable the car's drift mode, "Track Invader" for spirited driving, and "Donut" for 360° spins. The car also has a 50-plus steering angle for technical driving around the likes of gymkhana settings.

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It even comes with a stuffed teddy bear named Drifty inside, which Renault claims "is there to relax and comfort passengers overwhelmed by the show car’s muscle". While we're not sure what to make of it, the company says that it's part of the car's not-too-serious persona.

The carmaker is also doubling down on creating a digital presence. Renault announced that the R5 Turbo 3E's digital twin will soon be made available in the universe of virtual games in the Web3. The company is also set to release NFTs around the electric car, with owners of such assets gaining certain "exclusive advantages and rewards", although details are undisclosed for now.

The R5 Turbo 3E will be on display at the Paris Motor Show starting this 17 October, after making its world debut at the 2022 Arts & Elegance Concours d’Elegance in Chantilly, France last weekend.

Read More: mReview: Renault Arkana Fastback Hybrid - French Evolution

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