The Retro rEVolution At Goodwood Festival Of Speed

The electric vehicle isn’t a new concept. They first appeared in the 1890s and were in direct competition with petrol and steam-powered variants for a number of years, but the technology was crude and realistically before its time. That time is now.

While many manufacturers have followed a fairly generic pathway with their new electric vehicles, not straying too far from modern designs in terms of styling, a few have looked to their past for inspiration. Renault (along with their sub-brand Alpine) and Hyundai are two automakers at the forefront, and their latest offerings were on show at the 2023 Goodwood Festival of Speed – a prime setting to display and demonstrate the next generation of EVs.


The Renault R5 Turbo 3E is incredibly imposing in the flesh. Numerous design features draw your eyes at first glance, with styling cues echoing that of the original R5 Turbo 2. The rather wide footprint for its relatively short wheelbase is something the original was known for, and the bulbous arches barely contain the wide wheels, which are fitted with aero discs.


The rear wing has been borrowed from a Liger JS51 Sports Prototype race car, which when paired with the prominent front splitter and side skirts give the car a purposeful stance. I believe Renault has walked the line perfectly between paying homage to the original design and showcasing a design language which could feature in future models.


While there is still a distinct lack of theatre from the twin electric motors, the performance generated – amounting to 380hp and 516lb-ft – is hard to argue with.


A hydraulic handbrake, prominently positioned in the interior, alludes to the primary directive of the car – fun. Instead of a large dash display, 10 small screens in front of the driver pay tribute to the dials in the original R5 Turbo 2.


Hyundai is a brand that, just 10 years ago, most people associated with fairly bland cars. They’d do the job, but were about as exciting as plain porridge. Then something changed – the Korean automaker hired Albert Biermann. For those unaware, Biermann was the engineering chief of the BMW M division before his current vocation, so he knows a thing or two. The N division was created and Hyundai focused a huge amount of attention (and budget) to fun cars, culminating in this, the N Vision 74, a proof-of-concept which embodies Hyundai’s current design language.


Drawing inspiration from the Hyundai Pony Coupe concept car displayed in 1974, the N Vision 74 would not look out of place in a retro synthwave music video. Flared box arches and body lines devoid of any major curves hint at the sporting intent of the car, and with 670hp and 664lb-ft feeding the rear wheels it has the performance to back it up. Compared to the Renault, the Hyundai uses a hydrogen fuel cell and batteries, developed in partnership with Rimac, to power the twin rear motors. This is another emerging technology, albeit not readily available yet.

Every day, advancements in battery and electric drivetrain technology are being made. With an electric drivetrain, you remove the packaging constraints that are usually associated with internal combustion engines, and in turn this allows for a higher degree of freedom in design, which can be seen in the two cars we’ve looked at here.

So I put the question to you: Have Renault and Hyundai done enough to make you want a 3E or N74? Whether we like it or not, EVs are here to stay, and while I don’t think they’ll fully replace combustion driven cars, it’s nice to have options.

Chaydon Ford
Instagram: chaycore



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Love the styling of both cars, especially the Renault! However, exactly as you said, absolutely ZERO theater. EVs do not evoke any emotion or stimulate my automotive passion in the slightest. Just my 2 psi of course.

I honestly do not really care how much torque they have, or how face-meltingly quick they accelerate. 'Oh but the Rimac this or Tesla that.' Respectful tip of the cap to their intergalactic engineering, it is impressive.

But they simply cannot provide the FEELING of the ICE. Of course it is literally not possible, by design, and I am NOT taking away from what EVs are capable of. My position is not one of arbitrary bashing and disdain.

I legitimately could not make it the whole way through 'ELECTRIKHANA'. No offense to the late Ken or his vision, but compared to the aural maelstrom of the preceding videos, this just wasn't it, relatively speaking.

I am not myopic enough to naysay the exponential progression of technology. We all benefit. But as long as I can enjoy the sensory pleasures of internal combustion, I shall continue to do so with zealous aplomb.


I'm all for cool EVs and I am glad that we have more of them now
I think EVs are great as long as ICE cars are still being made


EVs are ‘meh’


Honestly, they look cool, but I'm far more excited to see EVs on a matching package: short-distance mover and industrial mover because that's what electric propulsion is good at :: massive torque at low speeds. Electric Honda N-Box, Daihatsu Hi-Max, Ford Transit, VW Transporter, and any industrial railway locomotives are primary examples that should be EV-powered.


Aah... Hyundai design has improved by leaps and bounds... And Bmw design has gone down the toilet... Makes sense now. Bmw head of design moves to Hyundai

Denis Dmitriyev

BMW still looks great and produces much faster cars, I guess :) But I agree, Hyundai becomes better and better.


I’m looking forward to owning an electric car.

Denis Dmitriyev

Wow, Hyundai looks great! Tires from!


The hyundai would be spot on (design-wise) if they'd used old-tech headlights and tail-lights - with glass and bulbs in them. The tiny square LEDs look out of place.


If one day I am forced to have to drive E-cars they better look and function exactly like these two shown here.

I'd happily drive the Renault shown here to and from work every day exactly built as it is now in these photos while saving my ICE car for weekends and long trips. This type of styling and interiors is how you reel enthusiasts in. That's my opinion of course but the Renault works for me. Sell me that Renault in America exactly as shown here with no nannies to get in the way(or at least be able to EASILY turn them all off) and I could happily live in the modern world of EV and ICE.

Maybe I am not the target demographic but I could sure use a lot less techy stuff in my cars. Save that stuff for my phones and home theater and pc equipment. I don't mind a touch screen but also give me buttons and knobs. This is why I love my BRZ and German Supra. THey both have some tech but it's not over powering. They are still focused on driving and eyes on the road. That Renault seems to be set the same way, I WANT IT!

Rant over. haha


Whilst I still can, I'll always choose ICE cars over anything electric. Regardless of relentless torque from an EV, give me a mildly tuned 9,000 rpm N/A engine, and a sweet gearbox to play tunes with, and I'll choose the old toy every time, for work or play.

Daniel Huneault

the first Hyundai and electric car I ever thought about owning, I love it. That Renault is pretty sick looking as well! Finally some cars to get excited about again :)


dunno why, i've never liked anything that came out of france and south korea (except lg's phone and monitor). and here's about full ev, i've never sold about that idea, the only idea that really sold me about electrified vehicles is the one that got kinetic energy recover system in tandem with ice inside them, like that heavy taint that bears nsx's name plate...