"In 1980, seven years after winning the World Rally Championship, Renault introduced the new R5 Turbo as a pure homologation special to enable them to compete in Group 3 and 4 racing and international rally competition. The R5 was based on the production Renault 5 Alpine hatchback, but to meet the demands of its intended mission, Renault engineers scrapped the standard 5’s front-engine, front wheel drive layout in favour of a mid-engine, rear-drive layout that positioned the engine and gearbox longitudinally behind the front seats. The rest of the basic platform remained, but the R5 Turbo’s chassis was strengthened at the rear to cope with the increased loads introduced by the new mid-engine layout.
Renault’s initial plan was to build 400 production examples, the minimum needed for homologation purposes, but when the car was introduced at the 1980 Brussels Motor Show, interest in the road going version took Renault by surprise. Huge demand prompted the company to put the car into limited production at its Alpine factory in Dieppe in France and in three years, the factory produced 1,820 R5 Turbos, but fewer than 600 of these were the first series R5s which today are the most desirable. To further exploit the popularity of the R5 Turbo, the car maker introduced a revised, lower-cost version called the R5 Turbo 2 for the 1983 model year. While original Turbo models used lighter aluminium components for the roof, doors and hatch, as well as a unique interior trim including seats dashboard and instrumentation, the Turbo 2 relied on the Renault 5′s steel body pieces as well as most of its stock interior components.
This Renault 5 Turbo 1was manufactured in 1981 and imported into the UK in 1987. The vendor is a strong Renault enthusiast and has owned this very rare example since 1997. His passion was to attend rallies and shows gathering information and showing this and other Renaults in his collection. In September 2016, work was carried out by John Price Rallying at a cost of £6,153 this included new fuel injectors and pipes, a new fuel metering unit, reconditioned starter motor and alternator and new brake pads. Unfortunately due to poor health, the vendor has used the car very little since. The odometer reading 69,163km (42,195 miles) is thought to be correct although not warranted. Finished in the rare and highly desirable colour combination of metallic blue with contrasting blue and orange interior and badged as number 0008 car on the dashboard, this Renault 5 Turbo presents in excellent order. Supplied with a V5C registration document and a history folder, this rare and iconic classic of the 80’s looks for all the world like a Group B rally car, this may be the perfect chance to own a very rare and desirable Turbo 1.
Photographs courtesy of Luke Papworth of Hampshire Photography"