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The Lancia Stratos AF dominated the World Rally Championship from 1974 to 1976. In response, Renault approached Bertone’s Marc Deschamps to design a competitive Renault 5-based rally car. While the Renault 5 is a front-engine, front-wheel-drive commuter car, Deschamps placed a 160 BHP, turbocharged engine midship for better weight distribution and converted the car to rear-wheel drive. Marcello Gandini designed the radical rear bodywork to house the car’s huge rear tires. Perhaps the car’s most famous result was its outright win at the 1981 Monte Carlo Rally in its first outing in the World Rally Championship. After 400 R5 Turbos were built for homologation, Renault introduced the R5 Turbo II. Though more civilized than the original model, the R5 Turbo II’s performance was outstanding and was often compared to the Porsche 930.
This spectacular R5 Turbo II, imported in 1984, by Centennial Renault in Colorado, is one of a very small number of cars brought to the US, as Renault never officially exported them. Once in the US, it was upgraded to federal specifications and has, for many years, been maintained in a Southern California collection. The consignor believes this car boasts an uprated intercooler, allowing a turbo boost increase from 12 psi to 15 psi and resulting in 185 hp. With one respray in its original Grenade Red, it presents beautifully. This Renault R5 Turbo II is a truly high-spirited canyon-carver that presents a rare ownership opportunity.