If you follow us here in the readings about classics, you may have already noticed that we are enthusiasts of the late WRC Group B and that is why today we are going to talk about the famous and late Renault 5 Turbo.
In 1978 at the Paris Motor Show, the “small” muscular Renault 5 Turbo was presented to the world for the first time and when it appeared, it was noticed that something special had been born.
During its nearly 2 years of “secret” design, it was given the designation “Project 822”, efforts were divided between the factories of Alpine in Dieppe and Heuliez in Cerizay, in addition to the design contribution of the Bertone house from Italy. So, in November 1978, he was introduced to the world on the Lédenon track guided by the pilot Guy Fréquelin and starting his competition route the following year in the Tour d’Italia, despite the promising signs, he would end up being betrayed by the engine and having to abandon the race.
The next challenge for the Renault 5 Turbo was its mass production in order to achieve competition homologation, this would happen in January 1980. The new R5 Turbo impressed not only for its shape, with an imposing wide rear but also especially for the powerful central engine of 1,397 cm3 with 160 hp powered by a Turbo Garret T3, 400 units were produced almost in record time as it was the number required by the FISA (Fédération Internationale du Sport Automobile) to grant the competition approval, but only 2 years later in 1982, it would start its mass production with the R5 Turbo 2 which managed to keep the reference number R 8220, until 1986 3,167 units were produced, two years later in 1984 a special batch of only 200 units (reference 8221) with a greater power engine, earned them the homologation of the famous category of the Group B of the WRC.
A year later the most powerful R5 Turbo was born, the Renault 5 Maxi Turbo, now with a 1,526 cm3 engine with 350hp and a reduced weight of 905 kg, only 20 units would be produced and all of them destined for competition.
During the five years, it was in competition, it has won numerous victories, including the victory in the Monte Carlo Rally in 1981 (WRC) with Jean Ragnotti at the wheel of a Renault 5 Turbo and the victory in the Tour of Corsica in 1985 with the same Jean Ragnoti but this at the wheel of a Renault 5 Maxi Turbo, proves that he had also won the previous year but with the first variant of the Renault 5 Turbo.
The New Renault 5 Turbo 3
For those who would like to see this motorsport legend in a contemporary version, we have good news, as the French company “Legende Automobiles” has just created what it calls “Renault 5 Turbo 3”.
On the outside, the new Renault 5 Turbo is almost in everything similar to its old brothers R5 Turbo 1 and 2, but with clear improvements in terms of design, keeping the original hatch now with carbon fiber bumpers, making it lighter, full-led headlights, customizations in orange color of the A-pillars, mirrors and rear wing. In terms of dimensions, the car has grown in width a lot due to the 16’’ front and 17’’ rear rims, everything else maintains the same characteristics of the two previous versions, namely the imposing side air intakes. Inside everything is digitally controlled by a central screen, a minimalist steering wheel, air vents, stick gearshift like rally cars, six-point racing seats, and a cage box. In terms of mechanics, it comes with Double-A front and rear suspension and a 405 hp central 4-cylinder turbo engine. So far this is what is known of the new R5 Turbo 3, the price and number of units they intend to produce are unknown for now.