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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

This Rare Renault 5 Has a Trunk Full of Turbo

Copyright © 2015 Bold Ride LLC.

The grass is indeed always greener on the other side. Need proof? In the 1980s, Europe was given this fantastic automotive gift – the Renault 5 Turbo 2. It looked like a children’s outlandish drawing come to life, went like stink, and emitted sounds that could make an ‘80s muscle car quiver. 
Renault never officially imported these cars (or their R5 Turbo predecessors) to the US, but, through the years, a few have made the swim. This head turner is one of them. It’s currently listed for sale online and looks to be an incredibly well-preserved example. Cupid’s arrow strikes hard with this one.


At its core, the Renault 5 Turbo 2 shouldn’t be such a standout. It was based on the plebeian Renault 5 which began shuffling small families to the grocery store in 1972. But then Renault tuned the R5 into a hot hatch trendsetter – the Renault 5 Alpine – and eventually swapped front-drive entirely for a mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive setup with the no-nonsense Renault 5 Turbo in 1980.
Slotted in the trunk of that car is a potent 160-horsepower 1.4-liter turbocharged engine. It was built to rally and it certainly did just that. Homologation rules stipulated 400 road cars must be produced, but Renault didn’t stop there. In 1983 the company expanded its super-supermini madness even further with the post-homologation Turbo 2. They carried a lower price, due to a more standard-issue roof, hatch, and door panels, but kept performance levels exceedingly high. Zero to 60 mph? Try 6.6 seconds.


This 1983 Renault 5 Turbo 2 looks every bit the stunner with its pumped-up front fenders, rakish rear haunches, and huge intakes. According to the seller, it shows the equivalent of only 63,000 miles on the odometer and retains much of its originality. Of interesting note, this Turbo 2 boasts the raucous “Devil” exhaust, which is aptly named we might add, and now generates 185 horsepower.