The mass majority of the Renault Le Cars imported to the United States have either been shredded and reinvented as a legitimate toy car or have rotted back to the soil from where they came. Once they used to be easy to spot, but now, it’s like finding a coprolite: interesting, but not in a good way. The Renault 5 and Le Car are horrid little boxes sent from France with animosity in mind. They punished us with a wind-up car.
Not to say that every version of the Renault 5 was awful. No, there was one that was bad…really, really bad, and in the way that would make any honest gearhead sweat over. The Renault 5 Turbo was a homologation special for the Group B series, and it was ballistic: turbocharged four-cylinder jammed in the back, widened rear track and blistered body to fit it all in, and handling that even the Devil couldn’t have created. It was like a Porsche in a lot of ways, but would be quicker on the trigger, doing it’s best to kill the driver. All in a 160 horsepower small hatch that looked that cute. How disturbing. Davide Cironi managed to get behind the wheel of one and even with the iffy YouTube translation service, you can tell that he is not at ease behind the wheel…the sweat dripping off of his arm is a big clue. It’s tiny, it scares you and you kind of like it…kind of like that midget you met in Las Vegas.