Renault 5 Turbo.
Developed for the dirt, the Renault 5 Turbo was brought to life primarily to take back Renault’s rallying primacy from Lancia, whose purpose-built Stratos had left its WRC representatives, the Alpine A110 and Renault 17 Gordini , choking in its dust in the mid-1970s.
Without the luxury of Lancia’s Stratos budget, the R5 Turbo was based on an existing model, the Renault 5 Alpine. However the manufacturer did stretch to employing the Stratos’ designer, Marcello Gandini, to craft its distinctive derriere, which featured aggressive arch extensions and side scoops.
Mimicking the mid-engined Lancia, the Turbo’s tricked-out Renault 5 Alpine engine, which produced 158 bhp—a colossal 65 bhp upgrade on its supermini sibling—was repositioned behind the driver’s seat, its power heading to the rear wheels.
Despite a debut victory in the 1981 Monte Carlo Rally, the Renault 5 Turbo was destined to be overshadowed on the track by four-wheel drive rivals like the Audi Quattro . However this didn’t stop the road-going version becoming a must-have motorcar for revheads and racers all over the world.
To drive one of Sports Car International’s top ten sports cars of the 1980s, buy the Renault 5 Turbo today on Simraceway.