It’s not just Chrysler from an earlier post this week that went mad for a bit. The French have a history of going berserk, automotively speaking, with even Renualt – who currently manufacture nothing but boring crossovers – having moments of insanity. This is their best.
The Renault 5 was an excellent city car. Front-wheel-drive, well packaged, safely slow. Not a rally car then. But Renault wanted to go rallying, and thus they took their aforementioned econo-box, removed the engine, turbocharged it, and then put it back in where the rear seats used to be. And let it power the rear wheels instead.
The result was the Renault 5 Turbo, a wild mid-engined super-hatch designed to go rallying, with just under 5,000 across two generations also produced for the road. Road cars made a healthy-for-the-time 160bhp, but in rally trim the R5 Turbo could make almost 400bhp (from just 1.4 litres!), and won the Monte Carlo Rally at the first attempt in 1981.
The spectacular Technic model pictured here is a recreation of the road going R5 Turbo, as built by TLCB Master MOCer Lachlan Cameron (aka Lox Lego). Featuring remote control drive and steering, LED lights, working suspension, opening doors, front trunk and tailgate, and – of course – a mid-mounted engine, Lachlan’s creation captures Renault’s moment of madness brilliantly, and there’s a whole lot more of it to see at his ‘Renault Turbo R5’ album on Flickr.
Click the second link above to make the jump to all the images, and the first to read how Lachlan creates his amazing models like this one.