In 1977, Renault began building a car for its return to World Rally Championship competition, as it had been absent from the series since taking the 1973 title with an Alpine-Renault A110. As the bulk of the automaker’s 1977 motorsport budget was consumed by its Formula 1 efforts, the decision was made to base the new rally car on the production Renault 5 Alpine hatchback. For improved handling, the car’s front-engine, front-drive layout was scrapped for a mid-engine, rear-drive layout that positioned the engine and gearbox longitudinally, behind the front seats. To avoid the expense of building a separate chassis, the decision was made to retain the Renault 5’s basic platform, but to strengthen the rear of the car’s chassis to cope with the repositioned the engine. To increase output, the 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine received Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection, a transistorized ignition and a single Garrett T3 turbocharger with an air-to-air intercooler. The net result was 158hp in road-going variants, and significantly more in race-prepped examples. To cope with the added strain, the engine also received a strengthened crankshaft, a revised head gasket, a new oil pump and brass valve guides.
Oversize rear wheels, shod with 225mm Michelin tires, required the use of exaggerated rear fenders, equipped with large intakes to flow air to the engine and radiators.
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 aluminum 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.
This particular example has delivered in France in 1984. We have no history of the car of it life in France but the former owner imported it to Belgium in 2008 showing 17.934 km on the odometer. He had the car restored mechanically and cosmetically. The car had a total respray and the seats have been covered with leather. The engine and gearbox have been totaly overhauled (we have invoices). The car has covered less then 1.000 km since as show on the official Belgian Car-Pass.
It's hard to find a R5 Turbo in such a good condition today as they were often used for racing.
Beautifull mythic car that puts a smile on your face every time you drive it.