Renault Breathes Fun into BEV R5 Drifter

Renault is trying to breath some fun into its 50th celebrations of the iconic Renault 5 with a super-fast all-electric drift car.

The French automaker will officially launch the Renault R5 Turbo 3E premiere at the Chantilly Arts and Elegance 2022 contest, taking place this week. The drifter is engineered for performance and tracks being all-electric and rear-wheel drive. Like its predecessor, the R5 Turbo 2, it is strictly a two-seater. However, the rear now houses the powertrain – two electric motors, each moving one of the wheels, with the batteries in the middle under the floor.

It is built on a tubular chassis, protected by a flat base and shielded by roll bars approved by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). The motor has 374bhp of total power and 516ft-lbs of instantly available torque.

This new-generation drifter can reach a top speed of 124mph. Its 42 kWh battery has plenty of capacity for several laps or a raging gymkhana. In these situations, it has a 50-plus steering angle so it’s easier to dodge obstacles. Naturally, as a BEV, it’s comparatively heavy for a stripped out racer yet despite the 1.5 tons curbweight, it can sprint to 62mph in just 3.5 seconds.

To record performance, it comes with 10 mounting brackets for cameras inside and outside – for instance in the slots for the headlights and for the exterior mirrors, which are perfect to get the best footage of its drifting prowess. Renault’s vice-president design, Gilles Vidal, said: “Renault 5 Turbo 3E combines ultra-tech design and wilful exuberance with numerous references to the world of car racing and video games. 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!”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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