There’s something about a mid-80s hot hatch that gets our hearts racing here at GRR. And it doesn’t get much hotter than a Renault 5 GT Turbo – arguably the forebearer of French hot hatches – tuned to produce more than double its original output…
Video: Watch a 300PS Renault 5 GT Turbo struggle to stay grounded
The brainchild of Lamborghini Countach designer Marcello Gandini, the 1.4-litre 5 GT Turbo was destined to look good and perform even better. It was effectively a rehashed version of the previous decade’s original, weighing just 853kg, and producing 116.6PS (115bhp) and 164Nm (121lb ft) of torque. Coupled with wide-grilled bumpers, over-exaggerated arches and yellow front fog lights, this mean little French machine meant business.
So imagine our delight when a video of last year’s Challenge del Lupo surfaced, showcasing a highly-tuned version of the front-engined fiend taking on one of Italy’s most technical tracks, Castelletto Circuit. Courtesy of YouTube car fanatic 19Bozzy92, the 10-minute video focusses on Maurizio "Merry" Silvestri’s AP Motorsport-modified Renault 5 GT Turbo, which produces in excess of 300PS (296bhp) at 5,900 rpm (with 1.6 bar of turbo pressure) and 365Nm (270lb ft) of torque at 4,970 rpm.
With a stiffened chassis, Sadev ST90 sequential gearbox and an incredibly low weight of only 760kg, this is a serious track-ready hot hatch. Watch from five-different camera angles as Silvestri struggles to keep it grounded...
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