In response to Lancia's rallying
success with the mid-engined Stratos, Renault's Jean Terramorsi,
vice-president of production, asked Bertone’s Marc Deschamps to
design a new sports version of the Renault 5 Alpine supermini. The
distinctive new rear bodywork was styled by Marcello Gandini at
Although the standard Renault 5 has a front-mounted engine, the 5
Turbo featured a mid-mounted 1397 cc Cléon-Fonte turbocharged engine
placed behind the driver in mid-body in a modified Renault 5
chassis. In standard form, the engine developed 160 metric
horsepower and 163 lb·ft of torque.
Though it used a modified body from a standard Renault 5, and was
badged a Renault 5, the mechanicals were radically different, the
most obvious difference being rear-wheel drive and rear-mid-engined
instead of the normal version's front-wheel drive and front-mounted
engine. At the time of its launch it was the most powerful
production French car.
The first 400 production 5 Turbos were made to comply with Group 4
homologation to allow the car to compete in international rallies,
and were manufactured at the Alpine factory in Dieppe..