A commuter-turned-mad-machine ready for rally racing

You gotta love it when manufacturers bring race-proven performance to the street. Back in the ‘80s, that’s exactly what Renault did with the R5 Turbo2, a boxy giant-slayer that looks the part of a sideways dirt-slinger all the way down to the hugely flared rear fenders.

This thing is just dripping with old-school-cool, which means it fits right in at Jay Leno’s Garage. Originally, the mighty mite used to be (as Jay puts it) “just a front-wheel drive, front-engined, econobox.” Now, however, it’s so much more. For starters, the engine is in now behind the seats, and now features a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder producing just under 200 horsepower, all of which flows through a five-speed manual transmission. The suspension was also completely reworked, and of course, don’t forget that glorious new body work. The product of racing homologation, just 200 were produced with the same aluminum roof as the example seen here.

This thing is a straight-up rally superstar for the road. Check it out in length in this 27-minute, 44-second video, which includes a look at all the technical details, and a stint on the streets of Southern California.

Further Reading

1985 Renault R5 Turbo II Exterior
- image 360359

Read our full review on the Renault R5 Turbo 2.

Petrolicious Profiles One Man And His Renault R5 Turbo 2: Video
- image 671393

Petrolicious Profiles One Man And His Renault R5 Turbo 2: Video

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: