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Classified ad of the week: Renault 5 Turbo 2
Is it us, or has Jeremy been freelancing at Renault and Peugeot this week? Not only has Pug given us the quite marvelous 875bhp/875kg Pikes Peak 208, but Renault’s almost out-nutjobbed it with the Twizy Renaultsport F1 concept.
But it’s not the first time the manufacturers have got a case of the Clarksons. Back in the eighties, Peugeot built a very silly 195bhp 205-based T16 for homologation in Group B rallying, and Renault built this - the Renault 5 Turbo.
3576 were made during a four-year production run from 1980, and they were, in every tiny particular, ridiculous. Like the Pug, they were built for homologation, but this time in Group 4 rallying (the precursor to Group B). The engine, a turbochared 1.4-litre four-pot, was moved from the front into the middle, and drive was fed to the rear wheels.
And what a lot of drive. Admittedly, 160hp doesn’t sound like much, but when there’s only 970kg to lug around it means it’ll hit 62mph in 6.6 seconds and a top speed of 130mph. Which isn’t half bad considering Dexy’s Midnight Runners were at Number 1 when it launched.
It made an impressive debut on the track, too - it won on its first ever outing in 1981 with the legendary Jean Ragnotti steering. Then, it sort of stopped winning. But it was what Renault was doing off the track that was so remarkable. Usually, a manufacturer stops building bonkers roadgoing versions of its racers after they’ve reached the 400 examples required for homologation. But Renault kept churning them out, and for less money…
To reduce costs, the Turbo 2 (cars built after the 400 homologation specials) had fewer bespoke alloy bits and used more ordinary Renault 5 Gordini parts. But it didn’t make that much of a difference on performance - top speed was 124mph and 0-60mph still took 6.6 seconds.
But more is, as Jeremy will reassure you, more. So we present you with this modded version. The engine’s been increased from 160bhp to 270bhp, an upgrade the seller assures is “approved and identical to that carried out by Renault Paris and uses the same parts.” Said owner also seems to have glued a pair of Wall-E’s eyes to the dashboard.
How much? £34,000, or near offer. But you’ll have to factor in petrol costs, because it’s in Portugal…