Renault R5 Maxi Turbo in the World Rally Championship

Renault R5 Maxi Turbo

Manufacturer: Renault
Category: Group B

The Renault R5 Maxi Turbo, an iconic rally car developed by Renault for Group B rallying, had a notable presence in the World Rally Championship (WRC) during the mid-1980s. Here are some highlights of the Renault R5 Maxi Turbo's palmares, teams, and drivers:

Teams and Drivers:

  1. Renault Sport: The Renault factory team, Renault Sport, was responsible for developing and campaigning the R5 Maxi Turbo in rallying. The team's engineers and mechanics worked tirelessly to extract the maximum performance from the car, while experienced drivers like Jean Ragnotti and Bruno Saby piloted the R5 Maxi Turbo to victories.

  2. Privateer Teams: In addition to the factory-backed effort, privateer teams and independent drivers also competed with the Renault R5 Maxi Turbo in various rally events. These privateer entries showcased the car's accessibility and competitiveness, with drivers achieving success at national and regional levels.


  1. Innovation: The Renault R5 Maxi Turbo was renowned for its innovative design and technology, including its turbocharged engine, advanced suspension system, and compact dimensions, which made it agile and competitive on rally stages.

  2. Iconic Status: The Renault R5 Maxi Turbo remains an iconic rally car and holds a special place in motorsport history, particularly among fans of Group B rallying. Its successes in events like the Monte Carlo Rally and Tour de Corse cemented its reputation as one of the most memorable cars of its era.

  3. End of Group B: Unfortunately, the Group B era was short-lived, and regulations changed after the 1986 season due to safety concerns, leading to the demise of the Renault R5 Maxi Turbo and other Group B cars. Despite its brief competitive career, the R5 Maxi Turbo left a lasting legacy in rallying and continues to be celebrated by enthusiasts worldwide.

Renault R5 Maxi Turbo rally victories

  1. 1985 Monte Carlo Rally: Renault debuted the R5 Maxi Turbo in the 1985 Monte Carlo Rally with Jean Ragnotti behind the wheel. Despite its first outing, Ragnotti managed to secure a stunning victory, showcasing the car's potential.

  2. 1985 Tour de Corse: Following its success in Monte Carlo, the R5 Maxi Turbo continued to impress in the Tour de Corse, where Ragnotti secured another victory, solidifying the car's reputation as a serious contender in Group B rallying.

  3. Other Events: While the Renault R5 Maxi Turbo did not compete extensively in the WRC due to the Group B era's short duration, it participated in various other rally events, including national championships and non-WRC events, where it achieved numerous victories and podium finishes.

Renault R5 Maxi Turbo technical specifications

The Renault R5 Maxi Turbo, developed by Renault's motorsport division to compete in Group B rallying, was a highly specialized and potent rally car that left a significant mark on the sport. Here are some technical specifications for the Renault R5 Maxi Turbo:

  1. Engine: The Renault R5 Maxi Turbo was powered by a turbocharged inline-four engine. The engine's displacement was increased to 1.4 or 1.5 liters, depending on the specific variant and homologation requirements. It was equipped with a Garrett T3 turbocharger and a robust internal componentry to handle the increased boost pressure.

  2. Power Output: The turbocharged engine of the R5 Maxi Turbo produced approximately 350 to 380 horsepower, depending on the specific tuning and boost levels. This power output, combined with the car's lightweight construction, provided impressive acceleration and top speed on rally stages.

  3. Transmission: The R5 Maxi Turbo featured a five-speed manual gearbox, specifically designed for rallying. The transmission was reinforced to withstand the stresses of high-performance driving and provided quick and precise gear changes necessary for competitive rallying.

  4. Four-Wheel Drive: Like other Group B rally cars, the R5 Maxi Turbo utilized a sophisticated four-wheel-drive system to maximize traction on various surfaces. The system allowed for variable torque distribution between the front and rear axles, providing optimal grip and stability in all conditions.

  5. Suspension: The R5 Maxi Turbo was equipped with adjustable suspension components, including dampers, springs, and anti-roll bars. The suspension setup was tuned for each rally event, allowing the car to adapt to different terrain and driving conditions.

  6. Brakes: The braking system of the R5 Maxi Turbo featured ventilated disc brakes on all four corners, with high-performance brake pads and calipers. The brakes provided strong and consistent stopping power, essential for the demanding braking zones encountered in rallying.

  7. Aerodynamics: The R5 Maxi Turbo underwent extensive aerodynamic modifications to improve downforce and stability at high speeds. These modifications included a large rear wing, front and rear spoilers, and aerodynamic bodywork enhancements to reduce drag and improve airflow around the car.

  8. Weight: The weight of the R5 Maxi Turbo was kept to a minimum through the use of lightweight materials and components. The car's low weight contributed to its agility and responsiveness on rally stages.

The Renault R5 Maxi Turbo was a formidable competitor in Group B rallying, combining potent engine performance, advanced four-wheel-drive technology, and agile handling to achieve success in one of the most iconic eras of motorsport.