It was Renault that started what was to become known as the Turbo era in Formula One as early as 1977. Leading the way as they did, Renault embarked on the World Rally Championship unveiling in 1978 at the Paris Motor Show a limited edition turbo-charged production road car intended to homologate a mid-engined rally car into Group Four competition - the Renault 5 Turbo. This hand-built car began assembly at Alpine's Dieppe plant in 1980. Developed by Renault's Bureau d'Etudes et de Researches Exploratoire it bore a lot in common with the 250bhp Rally Car, boasting 160bhp in road trim... all from just 1397cc. Modified from the push-rod four, compression was lowered to 7:1 and a Garrett T3 turbocharger and intercooler fitted to keep temperatures to a minimum. With a whistle of the turbo, 62mph came up in just 6.9 seconds with swift and direct steering and a five-speed box. It was a lot of fun packed into a small package, just 1690 cars produced.
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