This Renault 5 Turbo is a Fireball Spitting Riot
From rally racing to hillclimbs, the French have got you covered.
We've long yearned for French cars to come back to the United States. We don't so much care about the normal commuter, but instead, the hot hatchbacks that they do so well. For Renault, their sports lineup derived from Alpine models of yesteryear, eventually leading to Group B experimentation. The Renault 5 Turbo was a direct product of that, putting the automaker's capability on full display. It was wickedly unique as it featured the engine in the middle with drive to the rear, making it a tricky car to drive fast. High horsepower only strengthened that trait, making it a rewarding feat to successfully hone the car. In this video, you can see the driver wrestle the rapid Turbo up a twisty mountain road, spewing out flames and filling the hills with anti-lag and machismo.
Watching the Turbo dance is delightful. It's an odd but pretty car to look at with its extremely wide rear hips and boxy profile, helping to keep the package compact for winding circuits. Meaty tires out back help to put the car's 290 HP down, but they can only do so much as this example weighs just 850 kilograms (approximately 1,873 pounds). The driver aims to keep it composed, trying to dart it from apex to apex.
The noise only adds to the antics. It's a small displacement 1.4L turbo, so it's cranked way up to produce power like this. Boost is aplenty as you can tell from continuous whooshing and the light show out the tailpipe.
We wish Renault would produce something as chipper as this today. The revived Alpine will hopefully come close, but we still won't get it here in the States. Until we do receive our due treatment, we'll have to suffice with videos like this. Luckily, I think I can deal.