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Renault 5. Successful compact and at home in all markets

Renault 5

Modern, smoothly lined, practical, front-wheel drive and a child of a time when compact cars grew up. 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 halfway through 1974 the counter was already on 500.000 Fairies.


The Renault 5 shared - certainly in the first years - a number of technical components with the old Renault 4. For example, the R5 had torsion bar suspension on the front and back, and the umbrella of the Viertje. The basic version, the L, also received the 845 cc engine from the smaller and popular brother for most markets. Unlike the popular five-door entry-level model from Renault, the five however, a self-supporting body and a completely different line. The polyester bumpers also caught the eye.

Family expansion

The standard version, which was equipped with the 1977 cc engine for the French market up to 782, we mentioned from the outset the more luxurious 5 TL, which was equipped with the 956cc engine from the Renault 8 and from 1973 got a floor poker. The 5TL also had a power-assisted brake system with front disc brakes. The 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 1.289 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 1.289 cc engine from the 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. Adjusting gearbox ratios and replacing the double Weber from the TS with a single Zenith carburetor gave the GTL a completely different character. Another feature of the GTL was the presence of plastic shields over the flanks. Renault also launched a version for America in 1976. Le Car was marketed by the 1.300 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 forerunner of what would later come into the R5 range. The 1397 cc engine (92 HP) with a five-speed gearbox, a sporty styled appearance, Gordini rims and a stabilizer at the front and rear guaranteed an optical and practical speed experience. Meanwhile, in the late 5s, the Automatic and a five-door version added to the Renault 6 range. The five-door variant had strength in the mid-section of the Spanish four-door Renault Siète, and was introduced to replace the increasingly out of favor Renault 5. Renault also brought the 5 Monte Carlo, a combination of XNUMX TS technology and external features 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 1.397 cc knew and was equipped with Bosch K-Jetronic. The 160 PK supplying power source was used as a mid-engine in the Turbo, the Turbo was initially used for rallying purposes, but street versions were also available.In 1983 the Turbo 2 followed, and the Alpine was also supplied as a Turbo with a normal bodywork and an 1.397 cc engine with 108 HP.

Latest changes and action models

Back to basics: the Renault 5 was slightly modified in the early 1980s. The compact was given a different dashboard, among other things. And the TL received the 1.108 cc from the 4GTL and the Renault 6 TL. Furthermore, the time came to introduce action models, such as the Parisienne. The arrival of the Peugeot 205, among others, prompted Renault to think about a new R5. 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 of globally built specimens - the majority of them in France - were proof that the generation taken out of production in 1984 became one of the Renault 5 (the Turbo was built until the end of 1985) one of the most important cars in car history. He was simply at home in all markets and knew a great deal of idiosyncrasy. It is not for nothing that the Renault 5 was included in the list of 100 candidates for the “Car of the Century” in the late 1990s.

The copyright of the gallery images rests - unless otherwise indicated - with Renault


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