The Peugeot 205 GTI may be the better-known Eighties hot hatch in these parts, but Renault also had a holy hand grenade in the form of the Renault 5 Turbo.
While hot-hatch aficionados are getting just a little bit excited about the next RS Twingo, previewed in the form of the mental Twin'Run concept, a very special R5 has popped up on Ebay: a Renault Super 5 GT Turbo.
This particular example is a modified machine with some mods to bring the power up to a quite dizzying 134kW, along with a close-ratio five speed and some competition suspension and braking components.
In its original form, the GT was from the second generation of the quirky 5. The 1.4 litre Cléon engine was a pushrod, 8-valve four with a Garrett T2 turbo bolted on. This brought the power up to a modest 85kW, but it had a similarly skinny kerb weight - 850kg.
So our Ebay example has a power-to-weight ratio of 157kW/tonne. Hence the better brakes...
The stock 5 would rocket to 100km/h in just over 7.5 seconds but you had to have your wits about you because the turbo lag on it was catastrophic.
The visuals were "improved" with some slabby plastic cladding and tacky body kit, but that didn't seem to bother too many people because they sold extremely well.
A Phase II version was launched in 1987, with water cooling added to the turbo for better reliability and a slight decrease in lag. A new ignition system also delivered an extra 500rpm to the redline and 3kW of power.
The 5 GT's reign ended in 1991 with the introduction of the still-brilliant Clio 16v and Clio Williams (yes, the F1 team Williamses).
The Renault 5 even had a few famous fans - Rowan Atkinson used to rally one.
Alpine turned its experienced motorsport hands to the 5 to make a terrifying mid-engined Group B WRC weapon with 257kW.
All motorsport versions were based on the first generation 5, but the car lived on well past the introduction of the Phase II example where our story started.
The R5 Turbo really was the start of the story for quick Renaults, the Dieppe factory where they were made churns out RenaultSport Clios, Twingos and Meganes to this day.
For C$9200, this is a nice piece of history, albeit with a few scary mods…
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