The Renault 5 Turbo was a high-performance hatchback launched by the French manufacturer at the Brussels Motor Show in January 1980. Primarily designed as a rally car, there were a total of 3,576 street-going R5 Turbos manufactured during a four-year production run.
Seven years after winning the World Rally Championship in 1973, Renault introduced the new R5 Turbo as a pure homologation special to compete in Group 3 and 4 racing and international rally competition. In response to Lancia's rallying success with the mid-engined Stratos, Renault's Jean Terramorsi, vice-president of production, asked Bertone's Marc Deschamps to design a new sports version of the Renault 5 Alpine supermini. The distinctive new rear bodywork was styled by Marcello Gandini at Bertone. Although the standard Renault 5 had a front-mounted engine, the 5 Turbo featured a mid-mounted 1397cc Cléon-Fonte turbocharged engine placed behind the driver mid-body, in a modified Renault 5 chassis. In standard form, the engine developed 158hp and 163 lb ft of torque.
Though it used a modified body from a standard Renault 5 and was badged a Renault 5, the mechanicals were radically different, the most obvious difference being rear-wheel drive and the mid-engine placement. At the time of its launch it was the most powerful production French car. Renault's initial plan was to produce just 400 road-going examples, the minimum needed for homologation purposes. When the car was revealed to the public at the 1980 Brussels Motor Show, however, Renault was surprised to see the level of customer interest in its narrowly-focused race car for the street. In the car's first three production years, the Dieppe, France, Alpine factory produced 1,820 R5 Turbos, though it isn't clear how many examples wound up wearing registration plates instead of competition numbers.
To further exploit the popularity of the R5 Turbo, the automaker introduced a revised, lower-cost version called the R5 Turbo 2 for the 1983 model year. While original Turbo models generally used lighter aluminium components for the roof, doors and hatch, as well as a unique dashboard and instrumentation, the Turbo 2 relied on the Renault 5's steel roof, doors and hatch, as well as most of its interior components. The drivetrains in both versions were identical, although the fuel tank in Turbo 2 models was reportedly lower in capacity. The changes lowered the car's cost and simplified production, but had no significant impact on performance despite the Turbo 2's added weight. As a result, sales increased dramatically from 445 units of the R5 Turbo in 1982 to 1,345 units of the R5 Turbo 2 in 1983.
- Year of Manufacture: 1985
- Mileage: 41,257
- Drive: LHD
- Gearbox: Manual
- Fuel type: Petrol
- Exterior Colour: Bright Red
- Interior Colour: Beige Cloth Seat