Renault 5 Gordini and Gordini Turbo (1976 – 1984) Review

Renault 5 Gordini and Gordini Turbo (1976 – 1984) At A Glance


+Quick, chic and very stylish

-Rare to the point of extinction in the UK

The Renault 5 Gordini was known as the Alpine in Europe, but due to Chrysler owning the UK rights to that name, the historic tuning firm's name was applied. It worked well for us Brits, as Gordini had far more resonance anyway. The 5 Alpine went into production in 1976, but the Gordini didn't actually go on sale until 1979, by which time the Volkswagen Golf GTI was also on sale in right-hand drive form, offering some sterm competition. But the Renault sold well, establishing a successful line that would uinderpin the company's hot hatch efforts throughout the '80s.

The 5 Gordini's 1397cc engine produced 93bhp, more than double the power of the standard 5. However, this was a time of rapidly expanding power figures, and the Gordini quickly found itself outgunned by its new-found rivals. Renault’s solution to this problem, as with its F1 car, was forced induction. Bolting a single Garrett T3 turbocharger onto the Gordini in 1982 instantly gave the car a handy increase in power to 110bhp. It remained a solid seller until the end of the original Renault 5 in 1984 - what followed was considerably hotter.