Renault is cooking up a modern 5 hatchback powered by batteries, and it previewed the car last year with the 5 Prototype.
At the 2022 Chantilly Arts & Elegance contest running on Sept. 25 at the Chateau de Chantilly, north of Paris, Renault will show off the R5 Turbo 3E, a concept for a high-performance version of the 5 Prototype that channels the legendary R5 Turbo and its R5 Turbo 2 successor, both wild hot hatches with mid-mounted engines and rear-wheel drive.
The R5 Turbo 3E skips the internal-combustion engine this time in favor of an electric powertrain, and is built around a bespoke tubular chassis. The powertrain consists of a pair of electric motors at the rear axle, which generate a peak 375 hp and can hustle the car from 0-62 mph in 3.5 seconds and to a top speed of 124 mph. Powering the motors is a 42-kwh battery. No range estimate has been provided.
Like the original R5s, the R5 Turbo 3E seats only two. But instead of an engine filling in for the rear passenger seats, Renault's design team has installed a roll cage. That's important as the R5 Turbo 3E has been built for drifting. It has a number of features typical of the wild gymkhana-style vehicles piloted by the likes of Ken Block, like the wide rear rubber, prominent hand brake lever, and a 50-plus steering angle.
One additional key nod to the original R5s can be found in the cabin. Here, the ten analog dials facing the driver have been replaced by ten tiny digital screens. You'll also find carbon-fiber racing bucket seats, a safety harness, and a steering wheel all sourced from Sabelt.
While the R5 Turbo 3E is unlikely to see production, its powertrain could potentially feature in a high-performance version of the modern 5 hatchback. Alpine is thought to be planning a tuned version of the 5, and this could be the avenue for the potent powertrain.
Following its Chantilly debut, the R5 Turbo 3E will appear at the 2022 Paris auto show starting Oct. 17. It will share the stage with a modern Renault 4 and an Alpine concept.