Not to be confused with the conventional front-wheel drive Renault 5 Gordini Turbo or GT Turbo, the Renault 5 Turbo was a mid-engined homologation special built in limited numbers for Group 4 and Group B rallying between 1980 and 1986. Renault's considerable F1-derived turbo-charging expertise was applied to the humble 1.4-litre overhead-valve engine, resulting in a power increase to 160bhp (in road trim), an output sufficient for a top speed of 125mph and a 0-60 time of under seven seconds. In the Turbo, this remarkable little engine was mounted amidships (where the rear passenger seats had been) and drove the rear wheels via a five-speed transaxle.
A thinly disguised two-seater supercar, the Turbo was first seen in prototype form at the 1978 Paris Salon and made its competition debut in 1980 on the Tour de Corse, Jean Ragnoti's 250bhp works car leading the event before succumbing to electrical trouble. In 1981 Ragnotti/Andrie won the Monte Carlo Rally outright for Renault and the following year Ragnotti won the Tour de Corse again. Faced with increasing competition from teams running four-wheel drive cars, Renault responded with more powerful 5 Tour de Corse and 5 Maxi Turbo variants, Ragnotti adding another Tour de Corse win in the latter in 1985. At the end of the season the works team retired the 5 Turbo from competition. Had Renault chosen to contest a full international programme with the 5 Turbo rather than concentrating on French national events, then its record at the highest level would surely have been even more impressive.
This left-hand drive Renault 5 Turbo has had only four owners, the third of whom owned it for some 26 years: 1986 to 2012. Being a 'Turbo 1', it has that model's unique dashboard and aluminium doors, roof and rear hatch not found on the all steel, cheaper and more plentiful Turbo 2. 'PGO 697Y' benefits from a full mechanical overhaul completed by John Price Rallying in 2014, the engine, transmission, suspension and brakes all receiving attention, while the engine was upgraded with a Renault Sport camshaft and inter-cooler, and now produces 210bhp. Re-sprayed in the 1990s, the Turbo retains its original interior, seats and wheels (including spare) and is described as in generally excellent condition, with very good paintwork. This rare and collectible pocket supercar is offered with restoration invoices, current MoT and V5C registration document.