Renault 5. Successful compact and at home in all markets

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Modern, sleek, practical, front-wheel drive and child of a period when compact cars came of age. This title can be applied in full to the Renault 1972, which was shown to the general public in February 5. Immediately after the introduction, it became clear that the French had hit the bull's eye with their new front-wheel drive compact. And by mid-1974, the counter had already reached 500.000 sold Fives.

The Renault 5 shared – certainly in the early years – some technical components with the old Renault 4. For example, the R5 had torsion bar suspension at the front and rear and the umbrella stick of the Viertje. The basic version, the L, also received the 845 cc engine from the smaller and more popular brother for most markets. Unlike the popular Renault five-door slip-on, the five however, a self-supporting body and completely different lines. The polyester bumpers also caught the eye.

Family expansion

We already mentioned the standard version, which was equipped with the 1977 cc engine for the French market until 782. From the outset, it was accompanied by the more luxurious 5 TL, which was equipped with the 956 cc engine from the Renault 8 and from the outset. 1973 got a floor poker. The 5TL also had a power-assisted braking system with disc brakes at the front. It Renault 5 concept got family expansion in 1974. The LS was added to the range. This variant was distinguished by a larger engine from the Renault 12 with a capacity of 1289 cc, special wheels and more luxurious equipment. The LS was replaced in 1975 by the TS, which had the same engine but was further refined and, among other things, got the seats with integrated, openwork headrests.

The arrival of the GTL and a version for America

The 1289 cc engine from the Renault 5 TS was also used in the GTL, which came on the market in 1976. Where sportiness was linked to the TS, economy became the keyword for the engine in the GTL. By adjusting gearbox ratios and replacing the double Weber from the TS with a single Zenith carburettor, the GTL got a completely different character. Another feature of the GTL was the presence of plastic shields over the flanks. In 1976 Renault also launched a version for America. Le Car was marketed by the 1300 branch office AMC dealer network on the other side of the ocean.

Alpine, five-door and Automatic

Renault continued to expand its delivery range. The Alpine was a harbinger of what would come later in the R5 range. The 1397 cc engine (92 HP) with five-speed gearbox, a sporty styled appearance, Gordini rims and a stabilizer at the front and rear guaranteed optical and practical speed experience. Meanwhile, in the late 5s, the Automatic and a five-door version also strengthened the Renault 6 range. The five-door variant had strong features of the Spanish four-door Renault Siète in the mid-section, and was introduced to replace the increasingly out-of-favor Renault 5. In addition, Renault brought the 5 Monte Carlo, a combination of XNUMX TS technology and appearance of the Alpine, which had participated in the Monte Carlo Rally. The model was produced in a limited edition and had a special color scheme (yellow, with red bumpers and a black roof).

The highlight: the Turbo with a mid-engine

The highlight was of course the Turbo, which saw the light of day in 1980 and was widened in various places (especially the rear section). The most important part: the engine, which was 1397 cc in size and equipped with Bosch K-Jetronic. The 160 HP power source was used in the Turbo as a mid-engine. In the beginning, the Turbo was used for rally purposes, but street versions were also available. The Turbo 1983 followed in 2. In addition, the Renault 5 Alpine was also delivered as a Turbo. Right away normal bodywork and an 1397 cc engine with 108 HP.

Latest changes and action models

Back to basics: the Renault 5 was slightly modified in the early 1108s. The compact got, among other things, a different dashboard. And the TL got the 4 cc from the 6GTL and the Renault 205 TL. The time also came to introduce action models, such as the Parisienne. The arrival of the Peugeot 5, among other things, eventually forced Renault to think about a new RXNUMX. And it came.

Millionaire and at home in all markets

The Supercinq heralded the end of a car that was immensely popular at the time of its production. 5,5 million units built worldwide – the lion's share in France – proved that the generation one of the Renault 1984 that was discontinued in 5 (the Turbo was built until the end of 1985) became one of the most important cars in automotive history. He was simply at home in all markets and had a large dash of idiosyncrasy. It is no coincidence that the Renault 5 was included in the list of 100 candidates for the “Car of the Century” election at the end of the XNUMXs.

The copyright of the gallery images rests – unless otherwise stated – with Renault

Also read:
– About the benefits of a subscription to Auto Motor Klassiek
- Which Renault 5 for sale are in our section Vintage cars for sale
- R5 GT Turbo Phase Deux: The car behind a certificate
- Renault R5. From before globalization
- Renault 6. Familiar basic, logical program interpretation


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  1. My brother once had an Alpine Turbo; in appearance hardly different from a 'normal' .. but a wolf in sheep's clothing.
    Every fill-up a liter of oil was more the rule than the exception, but what fun in the cart.
    Now find one..

  2. My first cars were Renault 5. The 1st a 5GTL from '77, this one was rejected after 10 months on a rear axle, which was saying goodbye to the rest of the car.
    Then I bought an 82er TL that I upgraded with the luxury parts of the (self-demolished) GTL. Then, after another 10 months, I traded in an '81er TL that was also cooked. I drove this for 1 week, until the tank was empty and sold for 300 guilders to a caravan camp resident.

  3. Great car! I still have one from 1974 and a super5 from 85, both original. Fantastic concept. A harbinger for many contemporary cars with the third door, plastic bumpers and mature driving characteristics.
    5LS, one of the first hot hatchbacks, was also a coupe (not a coupé) version of which races were driven. l
    The Monte Carlo should have been black, orange, red after the colors of the sponsor Calberson of the two R5 Alpines that had taken place 2 and 3 in that rally. But orange was no longer the standard color at Renault, then they took yellow.

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