The GT Turbo was introduced as part of the phase 2 of the Renault 5 in 1985. Following Peugeot’s hugely successful and iconic 205 GTi, the Billancourt firm mustered a riposte. It used a heavily modified four cylinder, eight-valve “Cléon” 1394 cc engine (bored out to 1397cc) from the Renault 8 Gordini — a pushrod unit dating back to the 1950s. It was turbocharged with an air-cooled Garrett T2 turbocharger. Weighing a mere 850 kg (1874 lb), and producing 115 bhp (86 kW), the R5 Turbo had an excellent power-to-weight ratio, permitting it to accelerate from a standstill to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 7.1 seconds. To differentiate it from the standard 5, it came with blocky plastic side skirts. Unfortunately, turbo lag was an issue, along with poor hot starting, and although it offered blistering acceleration, the GT Turbo was rather difficult to control. The same engine was used, with similar issues, in the less known but also blindingly fast Renault 9 and 11 Turbos.

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