March 26, 2023

The R5 Turbo 3E could solely be a present automobile, however it’s arguably one of many coolest EVs constructed up to now.

This 12 months, Renault is celebrating 50 years of its little 5 supermini – a automobile which additionally occurred to spawn the wild rally-bred R5 Turbo & Turbo 2.

Evidently, the French marque felt that the event can be incomplete and not using a trendy reinvention of that wide-arched off-road monster, and right here it’s…

The R5 Turbo 3E’s identification is summed up properly inside its title. The ‘3’ in 3E marks it out because the non secular successor to the Turbo 2 (although the looney Clio V6 may need one thing to say about that), whereas the ‘E’ refers to its powertrain. Sure, it’s electrical.

Now, a few of you might flip your nostril up at it given the batteries below the bonnet, however not too long ago automobile producers have been doing their finest to show that EVs may be enjoyable too. Personally, we’re smitten with these two creations from Hyundai.

The Hyundai Imaginative and prescient 74’s ‘retrowave’ aesthetic is one thing that’s additionally current within the R5 Turbo 3E. Just like the Hyundai, it too provides sci-fi styling on high of a modern-retro base. Nonetheless clearly a visible descendant of the unique R5 Turbo, the 3E wears an an identical bonnet and set of doorways (albeit now made out of carbon fibre). Nonetheless, the core silhouette of the R5 has been bolstered by a closely revised aero bundle, together with wider entrance arch flares, extra aggressive bumper, and a sizeable rear wing. Then, the digital camouflage livery with pink/yellow accents provides additional persona on high.

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The enjoyable of the outside is matched by what you’ll discover contained in the automobile too. Peer past its pink plexiglass home windows and also you’ll see a cabin that options loads of inspiration from the clashing worlds of motorsport and videogames. Your eye is first drawn to the big yellow centre console, which cradles a towering handbrake – a characteristic that nods to the sideways intentions of this automobile as soon as it will get transferring. The impartial gray and black materials make the intense accent colors pop much more, whereas the tartan patterning is a transparent eighties throwback.

Behind the steering wheel, which is suitably futuristic wanting, you’ll discover a set of digital shows rather than the unique R5 Turbo’s analogue dials. These aren’t any common digital devices although both. Lit up in pink and yellow, they tackle an look impressed by retro videogames. Oh, and there seems to be a Renault-branded teddy bear saved away within the passenger facet. We’re knowledgeable that its title is ‘Drifty’, and though we’re not 100% certain what it’s doing there, it’s cute so we’ll let it slide.

Anyway, talking of sliding, that bear is more likely to be in for a little bit of tough experience. See, Renault didn’t simply need the R5 Turbo 3E to be enjoyable to take a look at – in truth, its sole dynamic objective is to place a smile on the face of its driver.

To realize that, the R5 Turbo 3E is packing a 42kWh lithium-ion battery that powers two motors; every connected to one of many rear wheels. This equips the little scorching hatch with 380hp and 516lb ft of torque – and it’s all on faucet immediately. 62mph arrives in simply 3.2 seconds, and it’ll maintain accelerating to 124. Nonetheless, straight-line high velocity is in no way what this automobile’s about. As an alternative, it’s constructed for corners.

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The automobile’s onboard pc provides three totally different ‘drift modes’ to permit the motive force to get essentially the most out of it in these situations. One is meant for, nicely, drifting as you would possibly count on, whereas one other units the automobile up optimally for donuts. The third mode is quite ambiguously titled ‘Observe Invader’, which is successfully a circuit mode. Underpinning all of this, in the meantime, is an FIA-approved tubular body chassis.

There’s additionally a complete of ten totally different digicam mounting factors, making certain that it’s prepared for all types of Gymkhana YouTube shenanigans. It even comes packing its personal particular results, as the outside LEDs will gentle up pink and yellow when you get the automobile sideways sufficient.

Cynics would possibly name it gimmicky, however to us, this automobile exudes every part that we love about modified autos: it’s received sufficient punch to lift your heartbeat, a dealing with set-up that eggs you on to be foolish, and a persona that elevates it past being only a mere machine.

Now, come on Renault, do the fitting factor and construct a manufacturing model please.