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RENAULT R5 TURBO

Year:
1981
Country of Manufacture:
France     Vin #:B0000159
Model Type: 2 Door Hatchback
Body Designer: Bertone-Marcello Gandini
Engine:Renault OHV 4L (1397cc) with Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection
Horsepower: 185 bhp at 6000rpm (Base Turbo R5 came with 160 bhp but factory supplied upgrade kit added 25 bhp)
Torque: 159.5 1b at 3250 rpm
Transmission: 5-Speed manual gearbox
Suspension:
Front-Independent, unequal length A arms, torsion bars, tube shock absorbers, sway bar.
Rear-Independent, unequal length A arms, coil springs, tube shock absorbers, sway bar.
Brakes:
Front-10.3” vented disc brakes
Rear-10.3” vented disc brakes
Top Speed: 128 mph

History: The Renault R5 Turbo, a radical development of the pedestrian sub compact Renault R5 Le Car, was designed specifically to compete in world rallying events. Radical insofar as the transformation required the engine to be moved from its normal front position to a mid engine location inside the actual passenger cabin. The engine also became Bosch fuel injected and turbocharged using the latest turbo technology from Renault’s then current and very successful Formula 1 program. A 5 speed gearbox replaced the regular front wheel drive 4 speed unit. Very extensive rear bodywork widening changes were made in order to accommodate both the relocated engine as well as the significantly wider wheels/tires.  Two series of R5 Turbos were built. The first series, initially known simply as the Turbo was later informally rechristened as the Turbo 1 in order to differentiate it from the more numerous, later series 2 model, which from the outset was formally known as the Turbo 2. There are many detail differences between the two models.  Most importantly, the Turbo 1 cars have aluminum doors, roof, hatchback and thus are some 66lbs lighter than the all steel Turbo 2 cars. Turbo 1 cars also have rather outrageous 2 tone color schemes for both the exterior and interior. Turbo 1’s have dual power rearview mirrors and the dash, seats, headlining and door panels are also different in design and finished more expensively.  However, Turbo 2’s have power windows instead of the manual variety found on the Turbo1’s.

Production:The Turbo 1’s were built 1980-1982 with a total of 1678 copies made. Turbo 2 production ran 1982-1986 with an additional 3284 copies produced. Full out race versions accounted for another 60 cars for a grand total of 5022. Not surprisingly, despite fairly high production numbers for a high performance rally machine, many cars have been destroyed or “thrashed” beyond viable repair.  Good examples are extremely difficult to find, particularly the rarer Turbo 1 models. This fact combined with their performance and graduation to collectible status due to their crossing the 30 year old threshold, make them an ideal and very useable collector car with a strong upside, just beginning.

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