The R5 Turbo served a dual purpose: promote sales of the regular R5 and also compete in the group 3 and 4 categories of the FIA rally championship. With Jean Ragnotti at the wheel, it achieved many wins in international rallies and took first place in iconic races such as the Monte Carlo Rally in 1981 and the Tour de Corse the following year.
Renault Sport wanted more, however. To get around strict regulations for Group B rally cars, it decided to change capacity class and produced just 20 units of the ultimate version of the R5 Turbo, the Renault Maxi 5 Turbo. The car was again radically different from its predecessor: steel body shell, aluminium roof, stiffened panelling and wind-tunnel designed and tested bodywork. Brake discs were cast-iron ventilated, wheel rims were made of one-piece magnesium, and wing pillars combined as air-intake ducts. Engine-wise, the 1,527 cc turbo-charged unit supplemented by a DPV anti-lag system borrowed from F1TM could produce 350 hp. With a weight of just 905 kg, it also had excellent power-to-weight ratio.
The Renault Maxi 5 Turbo went on to become a benchmark for a two-wheel drive car on tarmac. Ragnotti won the 1985 Tour de Corse in the car and even after Group B was cancelled the following year, it won many races in the Group F class over the following 20 years to prove its long-standing quality.