Renault Maxi 5 Turbo Tour de France Auto 1985 – (G038):
The Renault Maxi 5 Turbo was built to serve a dual purpose: to promote sales of the regular, road-legal R5, and also compete in the group 3 and 4 categories of the FIA rally championship. A nimble sport hatchback, the Renault 5 Turbo was launched at the Brussels Motor Show in January 1980. Primarily, it was designed for rallying, but a separate street version, the R5, as mentioned above, was sold too.
During its six-year production lifetime, a total of 4,987 R5 Turbos were manufactured. It featured a mid-mounted 1.4-litre engine placed behind the driver in mid-body in a modified Renault 5 chassis. It was capable of producing 158 horsepower at 6000 rpm.
Even though the body of the R5 Turbo was nothing but a modification of the regular R5, the mechanicals were as different as can be. First and foremost was the rear-wheel driver and rear-mid engine in place of the normal model’s front-wheel driver and front-mounted engine.
The engineers responsible for building the R5 turbo dug deep in the Renault parts bin in order to meet their goals: the rear suspension was originally part of the rear-engine Renault Alpine A310 V6, while the five-speed manual transmission actually derived from the Renault 30 TX. At the time of its launch, the Renault R5 Turbo was by far the most powerful production French car.