1982 Renault 5 Turbo
Everything about the Renault 5 Turbo hot hatch is fun. From super wide rear fenders to distinctive interior, peaky engine performance and exhilarating handling, it’s a car that enthusiasts love taking for spins around serpentine courses.
When vice president of production at Renault decided to make a sports version of the Renault 5 Alpine for homologation purposes, his small team of four engineers and one designer took radical measures. They turbocharged the engine, reinforced the chassis, used aluminum panels to reduce weight, dramatically widened the rear track, moved the engine from the front to the middle of the car and moved the drive wheels from the front to the rear of the car.
The result was France’s most powerful production car and the base for one of its most successful rally cars ever. Rally versions of the Renault 5 Turbo won the Monte Carlo Rally in 1981, the Tour de Corse in 1982 and 1985, and the Rallye de Portugal Vinho de Porto in 1986.
Only 3576 Renault 5 Turbos were manufactured during their four years of production (1980 – 1983), but you can still find many secondhand 5 Turbos in Japan, where owners tend to keep them in fantastic condition to the delight of foreigners importing them from abroad.
The 1,397cc engine is a turbocharged version of the standard Renault 5 engine with Bosch K-Jetronic mechanical fuel injection. It screams like a motorcycle at full throttle and delivers a very impressive 114 hp per liter, which comes to 160 PS at 6,000 rpm. Top speed is only about 125 mph and 0-60 mph acceleration is about 7 seconds, but the peaky performance makes for exciting response around corners where the rear wheels tend to spin before catching hold and delivering powerful acceleration out of the curve.
French like doing things differently and it shows in the distinctive interior. There are all sorts of gauges with orange illumination, dramatically sculpted seats, vibrant color schemes and a carpeted engine compartment in place of the back seats that takes up much of the rear storage space but leaves enough room for groceries.
The midship engine placement gives the Renault 5 Turbo a front-to-rear weight distribution of 40:60, which contributes to extremely agile handling. Double wishbones and disc brakes at all four wheels further enhance control.
This secondhand Renault 5 Turbo is in excellent condition from beautiful gunmetal black body to well maintained engine. We helped a smart shopper abroad snatch it up in Japan and export it to his home country, where it should arrive soon.
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