The R5 Turbo was the rally-inspired hot hatch to have before the GR Corolla was even imagined.
A low-mileage 1985 Renault 5 Turbo 2 is currently being auctioned on Bring a Trailer, with the current bid sitting at $65,000 and just a day left to bid. The model was imported from Switzerland to the US in 2019 and was bought by the seller last year. It's finished in red over a beige interior and is powered by a turbocharged 1.4-liter inline-four that is famously mid-mounted, driving the rear wheels. A piece of history, this thing walked so vehicles like the GR Corolla could run.
It's a clean model, with only a few blemishes to speak of, and with just under 25k miles on the odometer (39,000 kilometers; because European import), we imagine it will go for a crazy amount. To put this in perspective, slightly cleaner but higher mileage examples have sold anywhere from $110,000 to $160,000 on the website. Heck, even this Mazda Rotary-powered Turbo 2 we wrote about a couple of years ago sold for $78,500, so this stock one has a ways to go.
The R5 Turbo was designed by Marc Deschamps and Marcello Gandini of Bertone fame, debuting at the 1980 Brussels Motor Show ahead of competing in the FIA Group 4 rally championship. During the R5 Turbo's six-year run, the Turbo 2 was introduced in the later years as a slightly cheaper option with just about the same levels of performance.
This model features Turbo 2 graphics on the doors, front and rear foglights, boxed fender flares, quarter panel intakes, and contoured rubber trim along the bottom. The seller had the bumpers refinished and painted, though the rear quarter panel is cracked, and paint chips and other blemishes can be seen.
The car sits on double-staggered metric alloy wheels in red with Michelin TRX tires mounted in 2019. It comes with a steel spare tire in the frunk and uses disc brakes all around. The engine, when new, produced 160 horsepower and 163 lb-ft of torque controlled through a five-speed manual (not bad for a vehicle that only weighs 2,138 lbs) that sent power to the rear wheels and was good for a 0-62 mph sprint of 6.9 seconds.
The current owner replaced things like the coolant temperature sensor, the oil, the fuel pressure accumulator, the fuel filter, spark plugs and wires, fitted a JPR Classics Ltd shifter linkage, replaced the clutch hydraulics, and did a few more odds and ends before deciding to put it up for sale.
It comes with more spare parts, and also things like the workshop manual, service records, and a clean Carfax and Arizona title. From the comments on the auction, it appears the owner is well-known in his local circles and quite knowledgeable about the vehicle.
It's a little gem of a car, something that makes us excited about what Renault is cooking up as its planned electric successor. We're never going to get a hardcore, mid-engined hatchback again, though restomods help to fill the void. If you want to own a serious piece of automotive history and you have the dough you should check this one out, because don't you want to be the coolest person at your next Cars and Coffee?
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