NEW – The year of the 50th anniversary of its city car, the diamond firm signs a modern reinterpretation of the famous Turbo version powered by a 380 hp electric motor.
At Renault, the neorétro works at full blast. While the evocation of the R5 presented at the beginning of 2021 in the form of an electric concept will give birth to a production car in 2024 and an electric R4 is announced at the Paris Motor Show next October, the firm of Boulogne offers us a modern reinterpretation of the famous 1980 R5 Turbo.
Among the flagship models in the history of Renault, this bombinette was one of the stars of the road races of the 1980s, notably winning three events in the world rally championship with the house driver Jean Ragnotti, the Monte-Carlo of 1981 but also the Tour de Corse in 1982 and 1985, and delighting a whole generation of private drivers. Over a career that spanned more than ten years, the R5 Turbo won several hundred victories, mainly in rallies. It also gave birth to a one-design formula on the circuit which gave rise to some memorable battles.
We suspected a little that the French manufacturer would revive this legend. Luca de Meo had spilled the beans a bit last April when the Journal de l’Automobile presented the Man of the Year award. The R5 Turbo is also a favorite of Gilles Vidal, Renault’s design director. Add the 50th anniversary of the R5 this year and you have the cocktail for a perfect alignment of the planets.
Public premiere in Chantilly
Baptized Turbo 3E, the new concept completed its first warm-up laps on Sunday September 25 at Chantilly, on the occasion of the Concours d’Elegance organized by Peter Auto. Immediately referring to the original R5 Turbo, the concept forces the line a bit with really bodybuilt wings. With a width of 2.02 meters, the Turbo 3E is 25 cm wider than its predecessor, for a length of 4 meters and a height of 1.32 meters. Spectacular, this Turbo really is with its enormous dragster spoiler attached to the base of the rear hatch, its imposing rocker panels and its racing car rear diffuser revealing a large part of the machinery.
From the original Turbo, the R5 Turbo 3E concept has the power but not the sound. A sign of the times, this concept features 100% electric propulsion. The power comes out at 380 horsepower, the maximum torque at 700 Nm. With a capacity of 42 kWh, the battery recharges in 2 hours on a 380V / 32A charger.
Camped on huge 225 x 35 R19 wheels at the front and 325 x 25 R20 at the rear, this concept was developed on a tubular racing car chassis. The weight does not exceed 980 kilos without the battery system which adds 520 kilos. The choice of a black body is not insignificant. It refers to the first development prototype of the R5 Turbo in 1978 driven by Guy Fréquelin. As at the time, we begin to dream of the return to competition of the R5 Turbo with this 3E model. Perhaps the fact of having made up his concept in a race car is not entirely innocent?