RX Renault 5 Maxi Turbo 4X4 – Gérard Roussel

Published on: Jan 17, 2016 @ 20:38
Originally Published in: 2015 (old website)
(C) Jay Auger - website owner & author
Notice: Any form of duplication methods (including but not limited to copy/paste of text and screen capture) of the website's content is strictly forbidden.
Renault 5 Turbo Maxi RX 4WD – Gérard Roussel



The world of rallycross has always been very competitive and with the lower budget privateer teams it was necessary to be ingenious. Since the rules were very loose in rallycross, many competitors tried everything to gain an edge, including converting their cars to four wheel drive before it even became the norm in Group B and rallying. However, those systems were often unreliable contraptions using a myriad of different parts hastily slapped together.

The mass introduction of Group B cars into rallycross meant that four wheel drive became a necessity for those who didn’t have it and whom wanted to remain on top. One of these “underdogs” was Gérard Roussel with the conversion of his rear wheel drive Renault 5 Maxi Turbo.

The Renault 5 Turbo never came factory with four wheel drive, not even with the famed Group B Maxi Turbo version, but this would not stop Gérard Roussel’s team with their rallycross car. To achieve this feat, a four wheel system taken from the Volkswagen Beetle Baja 4×4 beach buggy was skillfully mated to the Renault’s C7K engine and to the R5 Turbo’s chassis.

Due to some issues, the “homemade” 4WD system was later modified with a Peugeot 505 limited-slip front differential for increased traction and reliability. Furthermore, as it was often the case with limited budget teams, some compromises were made by using cheaper parts from the lesser homologation variant of the car.

Still, even though the car was a bit under-powered compared to its rivals, Roussel performed brilliantly in the French Rallycross Championship and steered the frankensteined R5 Turbo to frequent podium finishes, even clinching the 1987 championship.

FRXC results:

  • 1986 – 3rd
  • 1987 – 1st
  • 1988 – 4th
  • 1989 – 5th


Group/Class Formula A / Division 2 French Championships: 1 (1987)
Years active 1986~1989
Type C7K, I-4, OHV 8v, gas located rear longitudinally vertical, in front of rear axle
Displacement 1527 cc
Compression ratio 6.9:1
Output power – torque 370 HP @ 7,000 rpm – @ – rpm
Materials block: cast iron cylinder head: aluminium alloy
  • Garrett T31 turbocharger
  • air/air intercooler
  • Kugelfischer mechanical multi-point fuel injection
  • DPV anti-lag system
Boost: ~46 psi
Ignition electronic, firing order 1-3-4-2
Cooling system water-cooled
Lubrication system dry sump
Type four wheel drive VW – 5 speed manual
Gearbox ratios 1st: 3.250
2nd: 2.235
3rd: 1.619
4th: 1.260
5th: 1.035
R: 3.182
Differential ratio 4.111 spiral bevel gears 40% limited slip rear differential
Clutch dry – double plate
Type steel monocoque Type 8220 with roll-cage. 3 door hatchback steel/aluminium/polypropylene bodyshell with aluminium doors, polypropylene front and rear bonnets, polyester front and rear bumpers covers
Front suspension double wishbones with lower longitudinal torsion bars connected to lower wishbone, gas shock absorbers and anti roll bar
Rear suspension double wishbones with coil springs, gas shock absorbers and anti roll bar
Steering system rack and pinion with hydraulic power assistance 13.22:1
  • FRONT: ventilated disks with 4 piston calipers
  • REAR: ventilated disks with 4 piston calipers
dual circuit with servo, adjustable ratio split front to rear
length: 3700 mm (145.7 in) width: 1769 mm (69.6 in) height: 1320 mm (52.0 in)
wheelbase: 2430 mm (95.7 in) front track: 1390 mm (54.7 in) rear track: 1490 mm (58.7 in)
Rims – tires 16 inch 22/64 16 Michelin
Dry/Unladen Weight
  • 925 kg (2040 lb)
  • bias: F40/R60%
Weight/power 2.5 kg/HP (5.5 lb/HP)
Fuel tank 25 liters
Drag coefficient 0.44



(C) Article by Jay Auger – website owner & author

Do you want to contribute more information or pictures to this page? Please feel free to do so by using this CONTACT form!