7 RENAULT 5 TURBO 2 (1983-86)
WHY IT’S HERE It’s a (slightly) civilised everyday version of the original 5 Turbo homologation special
Renault heaved a sigh of relief once it had completed the 400 Renault 5 Turbos needed to homologate the car for Group 4 rallying. There were so many unique lightweight parts involved that each one cost a fortune that was hard to pass on to buyers.
The concept and image were good, but it had to build them more cheaply. Hence the Turbo 2, which remained mechanically the same but used steel rather than aluminium panels on the outside, while inside, the original’s racy concept car styling with Technicolour leather seats was replaced by standard hot-hatch fare lifted from other products in Renault’s range, from the black plastic dashboard to the soft cloth seats.
All that made them much easier and cheaper to build, and to buy. And they weren’t that noticeably slower either. As a result, Renault sold over 3000 of them in three years of production – not bad for a still expensive specialist two-seater.
They are a hoot to drive, with masses of grip and the kind of quick and precise steering you get in a racing kart. And that little mid-mounted engine punches well above its weight, with a gutteral boom that you leave behind as you accelerate.