Amidst the then dominance of the four-wheel drive cars, Renault decided to set itself the challenge of adapting the potential of the turbocharged engine to its range of production cars. It also opted to do the same thing with its Renault 5 Turbo, which had already amassed a solid competitive record.
Renault wanted more, however. In order to get around the strict regulations for Group B cars, Renault Sport decided to change capacity class. It then produced just twenty units of an ultimate version of its R5 Turbo: the Renault Maxi 5 Turbo.
Special attention was paid to this version in a wide range of areas: steel bodyshell, aluminium roof, stiffened panelling, wind tunnel-designed and tested bodywork, cast-iron ventilated brake discs, one-piece magnesium wheel rims, wing pillars combining as air intake ducts, etc. The engine was not overlooked either, as the 1,527cc unit was ramped up to produce 350hp thanks to the turbocharger, supplemented by an anti-lag system called DPV, derived from Formula 1! With the car’s mass slashed to just 905kg, it now offered a truly exceptional power-to-weight ratio!
Very quickly, the Renault Maxi 5 Turbo became "the" absolute benchmark among two-wheel drive cars on tarmac, especially in the expert hands of Jean Ragnotti, who won the 1985 Tour de Corse in it. Despite Group B being cancelled in 1986, the performances offered by this special edition enabled it to win many races in the Group F class launched and run in France for almost twenty years.
An incredible longevity that only served to add to the cult status of the Renault 5!