Evolution

(Click the pictures for slideshow)

1973

The gearshift moved from the dashboard-mounted position to a more conventional floor-mounted solution.

 

1974

LS version was launched.

This version used the same 1289 cm3 engine as the Renault 12, equiped with a double carburettor and delivering 64 HP. It also introduced a new model of dashboard.

 

Spain saw the launch of the R7. A version based on a modified R5 to a three volume body, designed and manufactured in Spain by Fasa-Renault in collaboration with the French Regie Renault.
This car was 38.4 cm longer than the R5 and with a wheelbase increased by 10 cm. This "growth" has increased the weight of about 760 kg in the R5 to about 815 kg in the R7 and forced some changes in his mechanics, particularly in the engine that had an increase to 1,037 cm3 delivering 50 HP at 5000 rpm.

 

RENAULT Siete

 

1975

This year saw no changes to the models with only the LS version changing its name to TS.

In the U.S.A., the american version of the Renault 5 was presented to the press on October 23, 1975 but its marketing actually began in the spring of 1976.
This version was equipped with the same 1.289 cm3 engine of the French TS model, with its power reduced to 58 DIN hp (48 hp SAE approximately) to comply with U.S. emission standards.
The equipment included vinyl seats with integral headrests, reversing lights and "side marker" lights (needed for approval in the U.S.).
It also included larger bumpers, mounted on shock absorbers and fitted with thick rubber impact strips making them more bulky then its european counterparts.
It was initially available with two trim levels: TL and GTL.

 

1976

In 1976 three new models were introduced:

- The GTL, using the same 1289 cm3 engine from the LS but with only 44 HP.

- The R5 ALPINE, with a 1397 cm3 engine delivering 93 HP and using a gearbox inherited from the R 16 TX.

    (In Britain, the car was named R5 GORDINI rather than Alpine because the
    Chrysler/Rootes company had the Alpine name under copyright for the UK).

 

The SOCIÉTÉ version, a van model with only two seats and cargo space in the cabin's rear.
It was sold in two versions: with and without rear side windows.

In Mexico was launched a specific model for that market called "Mirage".
This model used the engine of the French TS (a 1289 cm3 engine from the R12 but with the power reduced from 60 to 56 hp SAE), with finishes from the European TL version and some details of differentiation such as rims and bumpers.
Advertising nicknamed it "El Esperado" but over time ended up also known as "El Zapatito".

 

1978

This year saw some changes in the R5 model range.

- The 5L was renamed to only 5.
- The Brussels Motor Show saw the launch of a new model, the "5 Automatic", with a 1289 cm3 engine, 55 HP and an automatic gearbox based on that of the Renault 16.
- The Renault 5 Turbo made a brief appearance at the Paris Motor Show.
- The TS was replaced by a "Special Edition", the "Monte Carlo". Launched to celebrate the results obtained by Ragnotti and Fréquelin in rallies, driving Renaults 5.
This car had a characteristic paint in yellow and red.
- The 5 Alpine was fitted with new design rims.

 

- Another "Special Edition" called "LE CAR", was launched. Based on the TS version and with many similarities to the USA versions of the R5.

 

1979

- The Renault 5 Turbo made its racing debut in the "Tour of Italy". Piloted by Fréquelin performed very interesting times and although the mechanics did not resist, its performance was good enough to pickup the interest of all the press and to show the capability of the model and the feasibility of the solutions proposed by Renault for this type of competition.

 

1980

The 5, TL and GTL models got 5-door versions.

- The TS, "5 Alpine" and "5 Automatic" remain marketed only in three-door versions.

- The engine in the TL and GTL versions was replaced by a 1108 cm3, 45 HP unit, already well known from the R4 and R8.

- Following another appearance in the "Tour de France - 1980", now piloted by J. Ragnotti and J. M. Andrie, continued to cause enthusiasm the news about the R5 Turbo. An R5 with a turbo-charged central engine and a top speed of around 200 km/h, with which Jean Ragnotti and Renault Sport won the French Rally Championship.

On July 20th, started officially the production of the "R5 Turbo" (road version) at the Dieppe factory assembly line.
The number of units produced during this year varies slightly according to the sources but we can assume that 804 units were produced in two characteristic colors: red or blue.
571 units were produced in the following year and 445 in 1982.

 

1981

The "R5 Automatic" began to be marketed with 5-door also. By this year only the TS and "Alpine" models were sold with only three doors.

- R5 TURBO had its moment of glory in January 1981.

An R5 with a 1397 cm3 engine that thanks to a turbocharger boosted its power up to 160 HP DIN. It was a rear wheel drive car with a central engine which has proved capable of great achievements, having won the 1981 Monte Carlo rally by the hands of Jean Ragnotti and Jean-Marc Andrie.

 

1982

TX version was released, a luxury version of the R5.

 

- The "R5 Alpine" won a turbo (Garret 3T). Together with a new carburettor Webwer 32DIR75, the power of this engine increased to 110 HP at 6000 rpm.
This new version was marketed under the name "R5 Alpine Turbo".

- R5 Turbo 2 was launched at the Paris Motor Show.

This model, kept almost the same mechanics as the previous version, differing mainly in the cabin interior which abandoned the R5 TURBO's unique decor, in favor of a more conventional interior, inherited almost to 100% from the "R5 Alpine Turbo".

 

Like the R5 Turbo, the number of R5 TURBO 2 units produced also varies according to the sources but we can assume that the following numbers were produced:

1983 > 1345 units
1984 > 1497
1985 > 182
1986 > 143

 

1983

- The normal range suffered a slight "face lift" with the introduction of a new front bumper incorporating a small spoiler.

 

This year, in Portugal, the R5 range consisted of four models, which were the subject of an essay published in the portuguese "TURBO" magazine of July 1983.
Click here to see a few snippets.