- A homologation special built for rallying, Renault’s R5 Turbo is a widebody, mid-engined, turbocharged dose of madness.
- This example comes from the collection at the Lane Motor Museum and has been serviced and is ready for its next driver.
- $75,000 sits up for bidding for five days.
Introduced in January 1972, the original Renault 5 was a cleverly designed and stylish little compact, and it sold thousands. Or at least it did in Europe. renault brought sink Across the Atlantic as the Le Car, to which America’s buying public responded ’bout re-no-thanks’. Perhaps as punishment, Renault officially refused to bring out its craziest version. As with their wine, the French kept best to themselves—though this R5 Turbo II isn’t so much Beaujolais as it is a Molotov cocktail.
Pick Up From Today’s Auction Bring A Trailer, Along With Part Of Hurst Auto car and driverThere’s a 1985 Renault R5 Turbo II, and it absolutely bonkers. Built to perfection in Group B rallying, the R5 Turbo delivers an expert-only driving experience unlike anything else. If the Citroën DS is the essence of effortless Gallic cool, then the R5 Turbo is Napoleon Bonaparte on bath salts. That’s great.
The standard R5 produced about 50 horsepower, though every Parisian thrashed them around the Arc de Triomphe like they were René Arnoux setting an F1 qualifying lap. Renault tripled the power with a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine, stuffed the powerplant where the rear seats used to be, and then made the Lamborghini Miura look like one of the moms in Pixar to the guy who drew it. Hired to deliver this mutant construction hips. movie.
As the most powerful French production car of its time, the Renault R5 Turbo could rival six-cylinder BMWs all day long. However, turbo lag is what it was in the 1980s, make one mistake behind the wheel and the R5 Turbo will “drop you into a ditch without a trace”DassolIt was based on an economy car, but had the boisterous demeanor of a Porsche 930.
Onscreen, this made it the perfect car of choice for the villainous Fatima Blush in the 1983 James Bond film never say Never Again, Sean Connery’s motorcycle was no match for the speed and agility of the red R5 Turbo.
This Turbo II is one of the later models, which was slightly less expensive, thanks to fewer aluminum components used in the construction. It has 43,000 miles on the odometer and a set of custom HRE wheels, and was formerly part of the collection at the Lane Motor Museum in Tennessee. If you haven’t been, the Lane Museum houses a treasure trove of automotive oddballs, like this delightfully deranged Renault.
Furthermore, the Lane Museum is a place that expects its cars to be functional rather than just on display. This example has recently had some servicing and is ready to go – although the horn is listed as non-functional, which should probably be addressed. No self-respecting French driver could go more than 12 seconds without honking at anyone crossing his path.
With five days left, bidding has reached $75,000, which is no small sum for a car that started out as a French economy car. Ah, but a Renault R5 Turbo II is the type of car in which emotion overcomes rational thought. What could be more French than that?
Brendan McAleer is a freelance writer and photographer based in North Vancouver, BC, Canada. He grew up cracking his knuckles on British automobiles, came up on the golden age of Japanese sport-compact performance, and began writing about cars and people in 2008. His particular interest is the contrast between humanity and machinery, whether it be the racing of Walter Cronkite or Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki’s half-century obsession with the Citroën 2CV. He has taught both of his young daughters how to shift a manual transmission and is forever grateful for an excuse to buy Hot Wheels.