10 Things You Didn’t Know About Renault Turbos

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Renault Turbos

Posted by Glenn Rowswell on 26th April 2012

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1. The car that makes everyone associate Renault with turbocharged engines, the 5 GT Turbo can be tuned to be very quick despite its 1970s vintage engine and carburetor fueling.

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2. The GT Turbo wasnʼt the first 5 Turbo – the mid- engine 5 Turbos and the Gordini Turbos arrived a few years earlier. They were all 1.4ltr, but the mid-engine versions had fuel injection and could be tuned to over 300bhp. The Gordini had a fuel system where the fuel was delivered through the turbo – an explosion waiting to happen!

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3. A special 4WD and turbocharged Renault 20 won the 1982 Paris-Dakar rally. Where most companies convert their rally cars to non-turbo for this gruelling rally, Renault were so confident in their turbocharging skills, that they went and did the exact opposite.

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4. Want 5 GT Turbo performance but with sleeper looks? The 9  and 11 Turbos both had 5 GT Turbo running gear, but in odd and ugly shells that nobody would expect to be fast, while the Renault 18 Turbo had a larger 1.6 turbo lump.

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5. Not all turbocharged Renaults are small. The rare Safrane Bi-Turbo and Renault 25 both had big turbocharged V6 engines under the bonnet – with over 200bhp and 140mph plus speed.

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6. The Renault 21 Turbo Quadra from the late ’80s was a Sapphire Cosworth 4×4 rival with its capable 2ltr turbo engine and 4WD. Unfortunately, tuning didn’t take off in the same way, despite the existence of the awesome Europa Cup 21 Turbo race cars.

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7. Back in the 1970s, the turbocharged Renault A442 dominated endurance events – including Le Mans. And in the early 1980s the Renault F1 cars produced nearly 150bhp from 1.5-litre engines.

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8. The 1980s Fuego Turbo was the first four-seat sports car to be designed in a wind tunnel, the first car with remote locking, and was the fastest turbo diesel in the world.

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9. Although less talked about, plenty of modern Renaults are turbocharged too, including the fantastic R26.R and the quirky, but already forgotten about Twingo GT Turbo, with its boosted 1.2ltr lump.

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10. The Alpine GTA and A610 were Renault’s turbocharged Porsche rivals in the ’80s and early ’90s. They were light and fast, but their quirky looks and high price tags meant they never sold well.