Renault 5 Turbo

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Renault 5 Turbo
Nationale oldtimerdag Zandvoort 2010, 1981 RENAULT 5 TURBO, JH-VZ-86 pic2.JPG
Production1980-1984 (France)
1980-1986 (Belgium)
AssemblyDieppe, France (Alpine)
Body and chassis
ClassHot hatch
Body style3-door hatchback
LayoutRMR layout
RelatedRenault 5
Engine1397 cc Cléon-Fonte turbo I4
Transmission5-speed manual
Wheelbase2,430 mm (95.7 in)
Length3,660 mm (144.1 in)
Width1,750 mm (68.9 in)
Height1,320 mm (52.0 in)
Curb weight970 kg (2,138 lb)
SuccessorRenault Clio V6 Renault Sport

The Renault 5 Turbo or R5 Turbo is a high-performance hatchback automobile launched by the French manufacturer Renault at the Brussels Motor Show in January 1980. The car was primarily designed for rallying, but was also sold in a street version. A total of 4987 (turbo 1: 1820 and turbo 2: 3167) R5 Turbos were manufactured during a six-year production run.[1]


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.[2]

Although the standard Renault 5 has a front-mounted engine, the 5 Turbo featured a mid-mounted 1,397 cc (1.4 L; 85.3 cu in) Cléon-Fonte with fuel fed by Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection and a Garrett AiResearch T3 turbocharger OHV 2 valves per cylinder Inline-four engine placed behind the driver in mid-body in a modified Renault 5 chassis. In standard form, the engine developed 160 PS (158 hp; 118 kW) @ 6000 rpm and maximum torque of 221 N⋅m (163 lb⋅ft) @ 3250 rpm. [3]

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 rear-mid-engined instead of the normal version's front-wheel drive and front-mounted engine. At the time of its launch it was the most powerful production French car.[4] The first 400 production 5 Turbos were made to comply with Group 4 homologation to allow the car to compete in international rallies, and were manufactured at the Alpine factory in Dieppe. Many parts later transferred to the alpin 310, such as suspension or wheel set.

Renault 5 Turbo 2[edit]

Renault 5 Turbo 2

Once the homologation models were produced, a second version named Turbo 2 was introduced using more stock Renault 5 parts replacing many of the light alloy components in the original 5 Turbo version, and dropping the stunning and specific Bertone seats and Dashboard for the interior of the R5 Alpine. Many parts also became dark grey rather than the iconic red or blue.[1] The Turbo 2 was less expensive, but had nearly the same levels of performance, top speed of 200 km/h (120 mph) and 0–100 km/h in 6.9 seconds.[5] To differentiate it from the Turbo 2, the original 5 Turbo is often referred as "Turbo 1".

The concept of a mid-engined small Renault returned with the 1998 announcement of the Renault Clio V6.[6]


In 2004, Sports Car International named the R5 Turbo number nine on the list of Top Sports Cars of the 1980s.


The R5 turbo was conceived with dual intent, promoting the sales of the common R5 and being homologated in the FIA group 3 and 4 categories of the rally championship (today WRC). All the motorsport derivatives were based on the Turbo 1. At first the competition cars existed in 3 versions : the version “usine” (French for “factory”) officially run by the Renault Sport division, the lesser spec “competition client” that were sold to private teams (20 built each year), and as a kit, that could be used to gradually convert a street legal version towards the competition client version. Over the years, the performances and cost increased, and lesser cars were run. So the kit was dropped, the client version caught up with the factory specs, and finally the 20 client couldn’t be sold anymore. They were built for homologation as group B, and immediately scavenged for spare parts.

The factory pushed the engine output up to 180 PS (132 kW; 178 hp) for the Critérium des Cévennes, 210 PS (154 kW; 207 hp) for the Tour de Corse, and by 1984 as much as 350 PS (257 kW; 345 hp) in the R5 Maxi Turbo.[7]

Driven by Jean Ragnotti in 1981, the 5 Turbo won the Monte Carlo Rally on its first outing in the World Rally Championship. The 2WD R5 turbo soon faced the competition of new Group B four-wheel drive cars that proved faster on dirt.

WRC victories[edit]

We can cite several victories throughout the early 80's in the national championships in France, Portugal, Switzerland, Hungary, and Spain, many victories in international rallies throughout Europe, with wins in iconic rallies such as Monte-Carlo. After the factory ceased support, it lived a second life being developed by many teams and enthusiasts to compete in regional championships and local races in which it was ubiquitous and reached many success for almost 20 years. At the time of retirement, the newly created historical coategories allowed these cars to return to international events and competitions, living a third life. For these reasons it has accessed to a legendary status and has a huge fan base.

No. Event Season Driver Co-driver Car
1 Monaco 49ème Rallye Automobile de Monte-Carlo 1981 France Jean Ragnotti France Jean-Marc Andrié Renault 5 Turbo
2 France 26éme Tour de Corse 1982 France Jean Ragnotti France Jean-Marc Andrié Renault 5 Turbo
3 France 29ème Tour De Corse 1985 France Jean Ragnotti France Jean-Marc Andrié Renault R5 Maxi Turbo
4 Portugal 20º Rallye de Portugal Vinho do Porto 1986 Portugal Joaquim Moutinho Portugal Edgar Fortes Renault 5 Turbo
R5 Turbo rally version

Popular culture[edit]

Because of its over the board concept and stunning visuals, the R5 turbo was featured in widely in film and media.

  • In the 1983 James Bond Never Say Never Again, the Renault 5 Turbo 2, driven by a female villain, is chasing James Bond on a motorbike.
  • It can also be seen in the 1997 movie Dobermann.
  • In the very first episode of the Dragon Ball series by Akira Toriyama, an adolescent Bulma meets with the young San Goku who mistakes the car for an evil monster.
  • In the movie trailer of the pink panther (1982), the car is driven by the female journalist.

In most of these cameos, the extrovert proportions and colour palette sets the car to be driven by female characters, giving a strong graphic presence.


  1. ^ a b "Octane classic car specs". Archived from the original on 2011-10-05. Retrieved 2011-10-16.
  2. ^ "''Evo magazine'' Birth of an icon: 1980, February 2008". February 2008. Retrieved 2011-01-31.
  3. ^ "1983 Renault 5 Turbo 2 specifications". Retrieved June 14, 2018.
  4. ^ Evening Times (Scotland) December 7, 1979
  5. ^ Car Catalogue International 1983, page 79
  6. ^ "Independent 17 October 1998". 1998-10-17. Retrieved 2011-10-16.
  7. ^ "TOP 5 cars with turbo". 2017-02-17. Retrieved 2017-04-20.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]