Renault’s Clio harks back to the Turbo 5 of the 1980s to tackle the WRC in R.S5 guise.
If you weren’t already excited enough that Toyota is re-entering next year’s WRC with its Yaris WRC, it now gets even better – 2018 looks set to see Renault Sport spread its motorsport wings onto the World Rally Championship.
It has been 27 years since Renault last competed in the WRC with its rear-wheel drive Turbo 5. That car celebrated limited success before being completely out-paced by quicker and completely mad Group B all-wheel drive beasts.
A source within the R.S development group discussed details with Trailing Throttle on the new Clio R.S5 WRC, the closest current day progenitor to the Turbo 5. Conforming to new regulations the approximately 1,200kg car will produce around 283kW of power from its turbo-charged 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine powering an in-house developed all-wheel drive system.
Currently completely under wraps, the Clio R.S5 has undergone development at a private gravel testing complex near Valence, France. It is understood Renault Sport were looking to enter a WRC campaign this year however issues during testing and a number of changes to the WRC regulations required pushing out until the 2018 WRC calendar.
The team coined the name R.S5 in reference to the last WRC car that ran for the French manufacturer, and the name stuck. There will potentially be a limited number of R.S5 road-cars also produced in conjunction with the R.S5 WRC debut, however due a mechanically different driveline the car won’t be able to see export to any overseas markets.
Drivers for the cars won’t be known for some time, although reportedly Frenchman Sebastien Ogier is high on the list of preferences for the French team.