1983 Renault

R5 Turbo Ii

Black Metallic with Grenade Red bumpers and trim, Tan upholstery, Tan carpeting, Restored from 67,000 Kilometers from new, 1.4 liter OHV inline turbocharged 4 cylinder with 160bhp, Devil sport exhaust system and a 5-Speed Manual Transmission.

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. 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. Unfortunately, the manufacturer didn't officially import the little hot rod to America, so they are not easily found here in the USA, never mind in this R5s condition.

The R5's 1,397cc pushrod engine featured an aluminum head with hemi combustion chambers. The engine was good for 160 hp in standard trim, optional 185-hp & 200-hp upgrade kits were available. For high-speed assaults on twisty roads, the car may be without equal given its 40/60 weight distribution, race-spec suspension, rack-and-pinion steering and four-wheel disc brakes.

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.

Only 3,167 examples of the Turbo II were built from 1983 to 1986. The R5 Turbo would go on to exemplify the hot hatchback segment of that era, being named by the editors of Sports Car International magazine as one of the Top 10 Sports Cars of the 1980s.

This R5 Turbo II was exported to Japan shortly after production. The R5 was used caringly until being placed in storage in the mid-1990s. After more than 20 years in storage, the car was then sold to Naito Auto Engineering, a high-end classics restoration firm in Japan. Naito performed a comprehensive restoration, reviving the Turbo IIs vivid black and red paint scheme and potent turbocharged engine. This outstanding R5 Turbo II has seen only a few hundred kilometers since its restoration was completed.

Price: $98,500