Super Rare 1984 Renault 5 Turbo 2 Surfaces for Sale on Craigslist
And its price will make you cringe.
Rally fans tend to look back on the days of Group B (1982-1986) as the sport's golden era. All-wheel drive and the nascent technology of turbocharging hit the rally scene almost simultaneously, and what was once a competition of who could make the lightest, most nimble car quickly became a forced induction arms race. Power outputs spiked each season, and fans flocked to see these barely controllable cars soar at never-before-seen speeds. Almost predictably, a series of fatal accidents resulted in Group B's (and its planned successor, Group S') cancellation, but despite the show grinding to a premature halt, relics of the series survived and many of them can be driven today. One of such relics is one of the smallest cars homologated for Group B: the Renault 5 Turbo.
Known to many simply as the R5 Turbo, this car was homologated for Group B's lowest category, which had the lightest minimum weight but also the narrowest tires, and a displacement of no more than two liters for naturally aspirated cars or 1,428cc for turbo cars. As turbocharging was the winning technology of the day, the R5 Turbo was as its name implied with a boosted 1.4-liter four-cylinder making about 160 horsepower and 163 pound-feet of torque in the road-legal Turbo 2. This tiny-but-mighty, mid-mounted four-popper drove the R5's rear wheels through a five-speed manual and could scramble from standstill to 60 mph in under seven seconds.
Renault made fewer than 5,000 R5 Turbos, 3,167 of which were the more affordable Turbo 2 spec and relatively few were sold in the United States, from which Renault withdrew in 1987. A few escaped AMC-adjacent Renault showrooms before the French waved the white flag, however, and a well-kept example with just two owners and only 52,000 miles just popped up on Craigslist in Los Angeles, California. Its seller claims to work on these cars regularly and to have performed a major service on this car only a few thousand miles ago, complete with what sounds like an engine overhaul and augmentation to 185 horsepower.
It'd be the perfect last-minute gift for the automotive Francophile in your life, were its asking price not a staggering $100,000. That kind of money can get you even weirder pieces of Group B history, like a Citroën BX 4TC. So if it's value for money you're after, it may be better to hold off this time around. Just don't expect to find cars like this one for all that much less money.
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