Now the concept is complete because Legende Automobiles (because LA, because that’s where they’re based) kicked off its conceptualization by asking “what if there was no compromise?” – which isn’t a bad starting point when it comes to a French sedan launched in 1983. Especially when the 38 years that have passed since have delivered a few more tips in the engineering round.
The beautiful thing about the restaurant boom is that it tends to be money moot. Granted, it rather limits access for those of us who are forced to buy the second cheapest bottle of wine – but it produces cars that are definitely worth reading. Take this for example, the Renault 5 Turbo 3 as (re) imagined by a new firm in the United States. It’s based on the Turbo 2, the mid-engined model Renault tried to produce on a budget after its predecessor’s components let it carry a semi-three price tag.
Hence a new bodywork “mostly” in carbon fiber. Naturally, this allowed Legende a) drastic weight loss compared to the steel bodywork that hampered the Turbo 2 and b) gave the fledgling manufacturer plenty of opportunities to play with style. This is what it did quite well, inevitably making the car considerably wider and capable of absorbing 16-inch wheels up front and 17-inch rear wheels (the original, of course, wore 14 inch rims).
Other detailed styling changes abound. Custom-made air curtains are installed in the C-pillar. The roof-mounted rear wing has been lengthened. At the rear, the two-piece diffuser is a custom design, as are the square tailpipes. Inevitably, the concept includes redesigned LED lights all around. The result is more in line with Legende’s intention: recognizable as a Renault 5, but knowingly differentiated in the usual restomod style.
We rather like it. And the same goes for the new interior. Of course, you’ll have to make peace with a digital dashboard, but Legende has spruced up its credentials by avoiding paddles and installing a five-speed sequential transmission (apparently a manual gearbox is also available). Because it’s a West Coast transformation, the Turbo 3 benefits from dual-zone automatic climate control, not to mention the super-slim racing seats that pair pretty well with the exposed roll bar. .
Legende does not dwell long on the mechanical configuration of the concept. Obviously, it retains rear-wheel drive – and it’s said to share the Maxi Turbo’s double-wishbone suspension, albeit on a considerably larger footprint – but what exactly powers the rear axle is not yet clear. . Granted, the engine is new, and the internet seems to think it is a turbocharged four-cylinder of around 400 hp. Which is quite the increase over the 160bhp produced by the Turbo 2 – but probably lives up to the course in terms of catering.
Most likely, these details will become clear when Legende puts a price on his work. Right now, the Turbo 3 looks a lot like a proof of concept given that it was developed by a team of three; Expect to learn a lot more about it if the company’s flag-raising effort gets the right kind of international salute. But at first glance, a singer for old Renault is certainly not the worst idea we have heard this morning …