A NEW APPROACH IN AN AGE OLD BUSINESS+44 (0) 1926 691 141
Sold for: £61,875
In 1980, seven years after winning the World Rally Championship, Renault introduced the new R5 Turbo as a pure homologation special to enable them to compete in Group 3 and 4 racing and international rally competition. The R5 was based on the production Renault 5 Alpine hatchback, but to meet the demands of its intended mission, Renault engineers scrapped the standard 5’s front-engine, front wheel drive layout in favour of a mid-engine, rear-drive layout that positioned the engine and gearbox longitudinally behind the front seats. The rest of the basic platform remained, but the R5 Turbo’s chassis was strengthened at the rear to cope with the increased loads introduced by the new mid-engine layout. Renault’s initial plan was to build 400 production examples, the minimum needed for homologation purposes, but when the car was introduced at the 1980 Brussels Motor Show, interest in the road going version took Renault by surprise. Huge demand prompted the company to put the car into limited production at its Alpine factory in Dieppe in France and in three years, the factory produced 1,820 R5 Turbos, but fewer than 600 of these were the first series R5s which today are the most desirable. To further exploit the popularity of the R5 Turbo, the car maker introduced a revised, lower-cost version called the R5 Turbo 2 for the 1983 model year. While original Turbo models used lighter aluminum components for the roof, doors and hatch, as well as a unique interior trim including seats dashboard and instrumentation, the Turbo 2 relied on the Renault 5′s steel body pieces as well as most of its stock interior components. This particular Renault 5 Turbo 1, we understand, was first delivered to Switzerland where it has remained until recently. Nicely finished in "Renault Road Rocket Red" with Royal blue carpets and Red leather seats with very attractive Red and Blue inserts this little 1400cc mischief machine shouts 'fun'. Whilst it's perfectly possible to use these cars to pop down to the shops, we all know that's not really an option. The car appears in excellent condition and has obviously been cared for and enjoyed as intended although the history is limited, we believe the mileage of 72,500kms (44,000mls) whilst unwarranted may well be genuine judging by the super condition of the car. Accompanied by a UK V5C and a fresh MoT, this little Renault looks for all the world like a Group B rally car, and this may be the perfect chance to own a very rare and desirable Turbo 1, as close as you're ever likely to get to those dramatic, fire-spitting rally cars of the 1980s.