Car Review, Figures and Specs for the Renault 5 Turbo Phase 1 - [1978]

Renault 5 Turbo

400 Renault 5 Turbos were made to comply with Group 4 homologation.

Brussels Motor Show in January 1980 was the first official sighting of the Renault 5 Turbo or R5 Turbo. The Renault 5 Turbo was primarily designed for rallying but as with many rally specials of the era it was sold to the public for homologation purposes. 400 Renault 5 Turbos were made to comply with Group 4 homologation to allow the car to compete in international rallies, just 3576 R5 Turbos were manufactured during a four-year period.


Rear-wheel drive, mid-mounted, turbo-charged hatchback.

The 5 Turbo featured a mid-mounted rather than front-mounted 1397 cc Cléon turbocharged engine in a modified Renault 5 chassis. Another difference from the standard Renault 5 was the rear-wheel drive as opposed to the usual front driven form. A combination of the rear-wheel drive, mid-mounted, turbo-charged hatchback gave the ‘5 Turbo’ instant kudos with petrol-heads, whilst also gaining a reputation for being dumped into hedges by over enthusiastic drivers. The Renault 5 also had a reputation for engine unreliability but this was no doubt due in part to heavy footed enthusiasts with a thirst for a red line.

Renault 5 Turbo 2

The Renault 5 Turbo 2 was introduced replacing many of the light alloy components in the original 5 Turbo. As a consequence the Turbo 2 was less expensive, but had similar performance with a 0-62 mph (0–100 km/h) of 6.6 seconds and a top speed of 200 km/h (120 mph). The engine developed 160 PS (118 kW; 158 hp) and 163 lb•ft (221 N•m) torque and at the time of its launch it was the most powerful production French car. In 1981 Jean Ragnotti won the Monte Carlo Rally on its first outing in the World Rally Championship although this success was short-lived with the dawn of the infamous Group B beasts. The Renault 5 turbo is a rare site nowadays and a novelty to behold and will be one of the stars of any future classic car show.


Positive  Rear-wheel drive, mid-mounted, turbo-charged hatchback.

Negatives  Tendency to try to kill you :-)

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