Following in the footsteps of the Renault 5 Turbo and the Turbo 2, the company with the diamond logo is revising the hot hatch for the inevitable electric era. Much like the Porsche Taycan, a car without a combustion engine gets the “Turbo” name, followed here by “3E” to signal it’s the third in the lineage and has an electric drivetrain. Essentially, the concept is a high-performance derivative of the Renault 5 Prototype we saw early last year.
The rad showcar looks just about ready to star in Cyberpunk 2077 and boasts a rear wing you can spot from a mile away. Much like its gasoline-fueled predecessors, the new R5 Turbo 3E has a rear-wheel-drive layout. Renault installed two electric motors – one for each wheel at the back – and put the 42-kWh lithium-ion battery pack in the middle under the floor. Doing so harkens back to the mid-engined layout of the Turbo and Turbo 2.
Technical specifications are just as impressive as the ultra-aggressive styling. The French marque says the pair of electric motors deliver a total of 375 horsepower (280 kilowatts) and 700 Newton-meters (516 pound-feet) of torque. It’s enough muscle for a 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in three and a half seconds and a top speed of 124 mph (200 km/h).
The Renault R5 Turbo 3E rides on 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels and weighs 980 kilograms (2,160 pounds) before you add the bulky battery pack that tips the scales at 520 kg (1,146 lbs). You end up with an electric hot hatch that weighs 1,500 kg (3,306 lbs), which isn’t too bad in the grand scheme of things. To fully replenish the battery, it’ll take about two hours with a 380V/32A charger.
Built on a tubular chassis, the electric concept has FIA-approved roll bars and a dedicated Drift Mode, complete with the essential upright handbrake lever. To capture all the action while you’re going sideways, the R5 Turbo 3E has no fewer than 10 mounting brackets for cameras that can be installed both inside and out.
The chunky body is 2.02 meters (79.5 inches) wide, which is actually 25 cm (nearly 10 in) more than the Turbo 2, giving the concept an imposing stance. It stretches at 4,006 mm (157.7 in, including the rear spoiler) and stands 1.32 meters (52 in) tall, with a wheelbase measuring 2.54 meters (100 in). The front tires measure 225/35 R19 while the meaty rear rubber is a 325/25 R20 set.
Renault will have the R5 Turbo 3E on display next month at the 2022 Paris Motor Show. While there aren’t any plans to put the concept into production, the company’s performance division Alpine is working on a sporty derivative of the electric Renault 5.