1985 Renault R5 Turbo II Is Our Bring a Trailer Auction Pick of the Day

  • A homologation specific constructed for rallying, Renault’s R5 Turbo is a widebody, mid-engined, turbocharged dose of madness.
  • This example comes from the assortment at the Lane Motor Museum and is serviced and completely ready for its next driver.
  • With 5 days to go, bidding sits at $75,000.

Vehicle and Driver

Released in January 1972, the first Renault 5 was a cleverly developed and fashionable little compact, and it offered by the hundreds. Or at least it did in Europe. Renault introduced its Cinq throughout the Atlantic as the Le Motor vehicle, to which the U.S. purchasing community responded how ’bout Re-no-thanks. Maybe as punishment, Renault declined to officially bring about its craziest variation. As with their wine, the French held the best to themselves—though this R5 Turbo II is not so substantially a Beaujolais as it is a Molotov cocktail.

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Bring a Trailer

Present day auction select from Convey a Trailer, section of Hearst Autos together with Auto and Driver, is a 1985 Renault R5 Turbo II, and it is absolutely bonkers. Designed for homologation in Group B rallying, the R5 Turbo presents an professionals-only driving knowledge that is contrary to nearly anything else. If the Citroën DS is the essence of easy Gallic neat, then the R5 Turbo is Napoleon Bonaparte on bathtub salts. It really is excellent.

The conventional R5 created about 50 horsepower, while every single Parisian thrashed them close to the Arc de Triomphe like they have been René Arnoux location a F1 qualifying lap. Renault tripled the ability with a turbocharged 1.4-liter 4-cylinder motor, stuffed the powerplant the place the rear seats utilized to be, and then hired the male who drew the Lamborghini Miura to give this mutant development hips like one particular of the moms in a Pixar film.

As the most powerful French generation automobile of its time, the Renault R5 Turbo could beat up on six-cylinder BMWs all day long. Even so, turbo lag staying what it was in the 1980s, make a mistake driving the wheel and the R5 Turbo would fireplace you into a ditch with out so a great deal as a “Désolé.” It was dependent on an overall economy automobile, but it experienced the haughty demeanor of a Porsche 930.

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Bring a Trailer

Onscreen, this made it the excellent auto of choice for the villainous Fatima Blush in 1983’s James Bond film Never Say By no means Yet again. Sean Connery’s motorbike was no match for a crimson R5 Turbo’s speed and agility.

This Turbo II is a person of the afterwards models, which have been a bit significantly less high priced, thanks to much less aluminum elements employed in building. It has 43,000 miles on the odometer and a established of tailor made HRE wheels, and it was previously component of the assortment at the Lane Motor Museum in Tennessee. If you have not been, the Lane Museum boasts a treasure trove of automotive oddballs like this delightfully deranged Renault.

Additional, the Lane Museum is the form of location that expects its vehicles to be practical somewhat than mere displays. This instance has experienced some new servicing and is all set to go—although the horn is shown as nonfunctional, which really should possibly be addressed. No self-respecting French driver could go far more than 12 seconds without honking at somebody perceived as getting in their way.

With 5 days to go, bidding has achieved $75,000, which is no modest sum for a auto that began out as a French economic system motor vehicle. Ah, but a Renault R5 Turbo II is the style of car or truck in which emotion overcomes rational believed. What could be additional French than that?

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Contributing Editor

Brendan McAleer is a freelance author and photographer centered in North Vancouver, B.C., Canada. He grew up splitting his knuckles on British cars, came of age in the golden period of Japanese sport-compact overall performance, and commenced writing about cars and trucks and people in 2008. His particular fascination is the intersection among humanity and equipment, no matter if it is the racing profession of Walter Cronkite or Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki’s 50 percent-century obsession with the Citroën 2CV. He has taught equally of his young daughters how to change a handbook transmission and is grateful for the excuse they give to be perpetually getting Very hot Wheels.