Renault 5 GT Turbo – The Living Coffin
What do you get by crossing a small weight-less hatch with a powerful turbocharger? The answer is simple. 7.39. This is the answer to our question. 7.39 represents the power-to-weight ratio. It combines a total weight of approximately 850 kilos and has 115 horsepower. Acceleration 0-60 is done in an incredible 7.1 seconds.
The production of the car took place between 1985 and 1987 as Phase 1.Phase 2 started from 1987 and ended in 1991. Its predecessor was the simple Renault 5 Turbo and its successor was the wide known Renault Clio 16v Williams. The Renault 5 GTT is considered even now to be one of the fastest cars in its class – the Hot Hatch class. Two types of chaises were built. The 3-door hatchback and the 2-door convertible – The EBS. The last one is considered to be a very rare car. The car weights 852kg and it’s equipped with a 1397cc OHC, 4 cylinder, 8 valve per cylinder, FWD engine, turbocharged with a Garrett T2 air-cooled turbocharger.
The Renault 5 GT Turbo first came out in 1985 as an answer to Peugeot’s wide successful 205GTi. The small beast was equipped with a heavily modified straight-four cylinder, eight-valve engine. Its name was "Cléon" and it had 1394ccs (later bored out to 1397cc). It was the engine that equipped the Renault 8 Gordini. The Billancourt maker decided to use a pushrod unit dating back to the ‘50s. Until 1987 the engine was turbocharged with an air-cooled Garret T2 Turbocharger (in 1987 water-cooling was installed, extending the life of the turbocharger). It wasn’t roses and peaches dough. The French maker had to deal with what today is known as a very big problem – The Turbo Lag. The booster was originally conceived to engage at 2.900 rpm, later on the problem was fixed and when the car reached 2.750 rpm it was practically impossible to get your foot of the gas until the end of the gear. On the outside the original car was equipped with plastic side-skirts, reducing it weight. Renault 5 GT Turbo owners and racers always affirmed that even dough the car is small and extremely fast, controlling it is the difficult part. Nowadays Renault 5 GT Turbo is becoming more and more a myth. They are very difficult to find even dough they have an extreme potential for performance and tuning.
- The stock turbocharger develops approximately 10 psi. Renault 5 racers dating from the mid ’80 up to the present ones tend to increase the pressure in the turbocharger. Many cases of blown cylinder head gaskets are to be found. By decompressing the cylinder head with one tenth of a millimeter pressure can increase but also detonations in the gasket could start. Renault 5s leaving behind a big white cloud is a familiar picture to many racers and owners.
The car is also known as the Living Coffin. As you can imagine from the title, many drivers died in these cars. The vehicle is quite rudimentary. The seatbelt is probably its only safety precaution. No other restraining system, anti blocking system (etc) can be found.
The Japanese version of the car has also Air Conditioning included. The electrical pump is found somewhere behind the engine. Due to the installment of this feature, the performance of the car decreased a notch. Many owners uninstalled this feature.
One of the car’s biggest problems is the electrical wiring system. Many owners have changed this system one or even twice since the car’s birth.
The Renault 5 GT Turbo was made with roughness. The comfort level is very low. The seats are rigid and the mechanism that rises them tends to break. Very Common Issue
Thumbs up for:
· The fact that the components in the turbocharger (compressor, etc) are very light, thus ensuring an impressive response while pushing down the gas pedal. Due to the fact that its efficiency at high speeds is very low, tuners from around the world tend to adopt other products from the Garret Family – T25, T28. Perhaps the best compromise is the hybrid T2/T25 turbocharger.
· The low springs that allow the R5 to corner at high speeds
· The light weight of the car, that combined with the technical part creates a beast
· The crowd going wild when an R5 steppes in line
The Renault 5 GT Turbo – an era of racing
Perhaps on of the countries that have the biggest R5GTT fans is the UK. Renault Turbo Owners Club is one of the biggest clubs known. The current known fastest quarter-mile time for a GTT is set by one of their members and it stands at 11.46 seconds. Quite impressive for a FWD 8 valve and classic(non-variable) turbocharger.
The Renault 5 GT Turbo was, still is and will be known as a high-acceleration car. The performance gained the car a place in rally championships across the world and led to the creation of a rally championship exclusive for R5 in France.