renault 5 cup turbo video

R5 Turbo Cup: An old school sports car on video


"The sensations when you go fast are brutal ... It involves you a lot in driving ... Brake just enough, turn just enough, the smell, the smell of burning oil ...". With these credentials it is obvious that we are not talking about a comfortable British saloon. Not much less than an imposing Cadillac. Rather, these characteristics are what define a little old school sports car. Yes, one of those with a short wheelbase, contained weight and engine asking to go up more and more laps. Exactly everything that the Renault 5 Copa Turbo fulfills.

A purely Spanish denomination, since in the rest of the countries this model was known as Renault 5 Alpine Turbo. Why the name change then? Well, for a simple publicity stunt, since in our country the Renault Cup enjoyed great popularity, having the R5 as protagonists. In that sense, in Spain it was much more profitable to appeal to the memory of this competition than to that of the Alpine trainer. However, removing this small detail for lovers of engine genealogies, everything was practically the same in both versions.

As you can imagine, the Renault 5 Copa Turbo was one of the cars most desired by the drivers amateur of the time. In fact, part of its alleged reputation for turbo danger comes right there: from the combination of excessive enthusiasm and little expertise in many of them. But nevertheless, in the right hands this little French sports car is a succession of good feelings. As an example of this, we invite you to enjoy the following video, one more on the list from the Roadmantics Channel.


In many ways this car was revolutionary and innovative. To begin with, in the case of Spain the R5 put an end to the Renault cups disputed with the R8. A complete paradigm shift, going from competing with a four-door engine and rear-wheel drive to driving a small utility vehicle with front engine and front wheel drive. Something that happened in the late 70s, just a few years before the GTI craze. You know, mid-range compacts vitaminized by the grace of turbocharged injection engines.

renault 5 turbo cup

Something that, a few years earlier, the sports versions of the Renault 5 were already advocating. In that sense, from 1976 on, the Alpine (Copa) versions emerged. His engine was the same four cylinders in line with 8 valves than the one equipped by the rest of the versions, but complemented with a double body carburetion and an enlarged displacement to almost 1 liters. Outcome? 4CV for its only 93 kilos. Not bad at all, especially when we add uncompromising demeanor to relaxed, assisted driving to the lot.

renault 5 turbo cup

Thus the things, the Renault 5 Alpine enters the eighties with an excellent reputation on the circuits. However, something more is required. And yes, it's just what you are thinking… We were in the eighties and every sporting car worth its salt had to have the magical blast of the turbo. That is when, in 1982, the Renault 5 Alpine Turbo was presented. With an improvement of 17CV - reaching up to 110 - this new version went up to 186 km / h peak. Not inconsiderable performance, which derived from the turbo Garrett T3, one of the most common at the time.


First of all… Stop. Stop still because it is very possible that you are thinking the following: "What about the thing about your turbo getting into the worst possible situation?" It is true that the Renault 5 Copa Turbo came to have a fearful reputation precisely for this reason. Many voices speak that the turbo jumped when reducing in a curve, causing the car to shoot out. Considering that this car is especially enjoyed on mountain roads ... Imagine, it quickly received the nickname of "The box of the dead."

However, What's true in this affirmation? Because, although we have all heard this story, the owners of the model like the one in the previous video say just the opposite. Well, starting from the basis that the turbo, as an intake system, only comes into action when you use the accelerator ... The truth is that This phenomenon occurred by accelerating before entering the curve, hurrying to the maximum before braking. At that moment the turbo entered and you had all the cards for the accident. Something that, sadly, happened when the Renault 5 Copa Turbo was in the hands of drivers with as much impetus as little knowledge.

renault 5 turbo cup

As you may have seen in the previous video, the Renault 5 Copa Turbo is a car with a lot of character. Something that even the sound of the exhaust warns you about. A light sports car, with a short wheelbase, nervous engine and steering suitable only for those with the expertise to counter wheel. In that sense, it is not at all a car that can be awarded bad any bad reputation. Of course, what you can not lose sight of is that you are facing an old school sports car, the kind that requires you to give yourself to the fullest when you are driving it. Anyway, just what it was created for.

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Miguel Sánchez

Written by Miguel Sánchez

Through the news from La Escudería, we will travel the winding roads of Maranello listening to the roar of the Italian V12; We will travel Route66 in search of the power of the great American engines; we will get lost in the narrow English lanes tracking the elegance of their sports cars; We will speed up the braking in the curves of the Monte Carlo Rally and we will even get dusty in a garage while rescuing lost jewels.


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