1981 Renault

R5 Turbo I

--White with Red Turbo graphics with interior singular to only the Turbo 1, Blue leather with Blue cloth inserts with pinstriping in Red and Red carpeting, Restored, 31,000 Original Kilometers/19,000 Original Miles from New and prior to restoration, 1.4 liter turbocharged engine, 5-speed manual, 13x7 and 13x9 Gotti wheels with 205/55/R13 front/245/50/R13 rear Avon tires, Roll cage, Owner's manuals in factory Brown leather casing, Assorted period literature, Records and factory spare.

Renault was a pioneer in the development of turbocharged engines in its Formula One racing cars, their 1.5-liter turbo engines reaching 1,200 hp. Renault wanted to put its turbo expertise to work in rally competition, the tiny R5 became the designated platform.

The Renault 5 Turbo 1 was launched by the French manufacturer at the 1980 Brussels Motor Show. The car was primarily designed for rallying, but also sold in a street version for homologation purposes. A total of 4,987 (1,820 Turbo 1 and 3,167 Turbo 2) R5 Turbos were manufactured from 1980 to 1986.

Putting a bunch of turbo horses to the ground through the front wheels didn't seem like a good recipe for a fast rally car, so Renault engineers removed the back seat and thus became the mid-engined R5 Turbo driving the rear wheels through a five-speed transaxle. The R5's 1,397cc pushrod engine featured an aluminum head with hemi combustion chambers. The engine produced 160 hp, optional 185-hp & 200-hp upgrade kits as well as 400+-hp kit labelled the Maxi-Turbo were options.

The engine delivers little power at the low end, but output grows shockingly as the turbo boost needle swings clockwise with neck-snapping surge of acceleration, the R5 Turbo is like riding a lit bottle rocket. The turbo's plumbing is short and direct and reflects Renault's experience in F1, the engine compartment is clean and easy to navigate. For high-speed assaults on twisty roads, the mid-engine R5 Turbo may be without equal given its 40/60 weight distribution, race-spec suspension, rack-and-pinion steering and four-wheel disc brakes.

The Turbo 1 interior is quite bespoke in comparison to the later Turbo 2's with the more generic (R5 Europe, LeCar in the United States) production interior used as a cost saving measure on the later cars. The Turbo 1 interior featured striped cloth door card upholstery, bold red carpets, a black interior roll cage, a two-spoke steering wheel, heater, and manually operated windows.

This Turbo 1 has been comprehensively restored within the past two years and while in its most previous owner's care. Offered in absolutely superb condition throughout, this R5 Turbo 1 must be considered one of the finest examples of its kind in existence.

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