The R5 TURBO 3E concept is the perfect EV drifter | Top Gear
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Monday 27th March

The R5 TURBO 3E concept is the perfect EV drifter

Renault’s built an electric drifting machine to invoke the spirit of the 5 Turbo, and good lord is it cool

Published: 23 Sep 2022

Is it just us, or is Renault smashing it out of the park with its concept cars right now? We got to poke around the Scenic Vision earlier this year and it was wicked, but now the French firm has stepped it up another notch with this. Whoa.

It’s called the R5 Turbo 3E, and it’s a two-seat tribute to the Renault 5 Turbo and Turbo 2 of yesteryears. And unlike most concept cars that’ll turn heads and nothing else, this might just turn your stomach too because it’s designed for DRIFTING.

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Don’t be fooled by the all-electric powertrain: it’s rear-wheel drive courtesy of a motor on each of the back wheels, delivering a playful 375bhp and 516lb ft. Renault reckons on 0-62mph in 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 124mph, but stops short of predicting what range you’ll get from the 42kWh battery. Presumably because you can’t get a WLTP rating when sideways…

At 1.5 tonnes (520kg of that is battery cells) it’s a good deal heavier than the cars that inspired it, but a tubular chassis, protected flat base and FIA-approved roll cage should provide plenty of stiffness when engaging that impossible-to-miss handbrake.

There’s a drift mode (because of course) called ‘Turbo’, with ‘Track invader’ and ‘Donut’ settings for general entertainment and 360-degree spins, respectively.

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Subtle aero features include those front-bumper inlets for additional cooling and downforce; not-so-subtle aero features include that enormous rear wing.

The body is made from carbon fibre, and mid-drift the pink, blue and yellow LED strips will flash to generate ‘a 1980s and 1990s videogame vibe’. And to warn onlookers of your tomfoolery.

You won’t have any trouble capturing your antics for YouTube and TikTok either: there are 10 mounting brackets throughout the vehicle so you can attach cameras inside and out.

“Renault 5 TURBO 3E combines ultra-tech design and wilful exuberance with numerous references to the world of car racing and video games,” explained Renault’s vice president of design, Gilles Vidal. “This combination propels the show car into modernity and technology, and it’s at the frontier between the real and virtual realms. This pure electric 'drifter' demonstrates that electric cars can also be fun with incredible performance!"

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The car will make its debut at the Chantilly Arts & Elegance 2022 contest on 25 September, and will appear at the Paris Motor Show October 17. Anyone got Ken Block’s number?

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