Thursday, 13 October 2011

Renault 5 Turbo

The name Renault 5 Turbo conjures images of the later 5 GT Turbo, but this is genesis: the original, mid-engined, wide-body rally hooligan. Launched at the Brussels Motor Show in 1980, it was a direct response to the likes of the Lancia Stratos that were dominating on the rally stages at the time. Bertone's Marc Deschamps was charged with the task of turning the warm Renault 5 Alpine into something rather more sporty - his idea of ripping the mechanicals from the front and sticking them behind the driver (in a cartoonishly wide frame styled by Marcello Gandini), thus sending power to the rear wheels rather than the front, transformed the 5 into something otherworldly and brilliantly frightening. The road-going Turbo's performance may sound modest now - 158bhp, 0-60mph in 6.6s, 120mph - but just picture yourself deploying that power in a flimsy 970kg Renault 5 with RWD...
An iconic machine, and a beauty to boot.

Photo source.

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