When fly first announced that they planned to release a Renault 5 Turbo I
cannot have been the only person who was pleased
upon hearing the news, and I immediately placed an order for one at my shop.
Fly seem to have been specializing recently upon early 1980s rally cars, the
forerunners to the wild Group B super cars of the mid 80s.
Before this Renault they released the Lancia 037 and have also produced, as
a spin off from their other 911 releases, a Porsche 911 SC in full Rothmans
As both of these cars are the only type of vehicles I have in my collection
that are of the same general period and class as the Renault, they are the
cars I will compare the Renault against later in this review.
The Cars History.
Renault had already tried to rally the 5 before they devised this monster.
In the late 1970s they had developed a 5 with the engine in the normal
place, but extensively tuned, they called this the Renault 5 Alpine. It
didn’t however meet with the type of success Renault was expecting. So they
decided to take advantage of the new group 4 regulations, and they developed
They shifted the engine to the back, slung out over the rear axles of the
car, and managed to convince the 1400 cc engine to produce 250BHP.
Jean Ragnotti gave the Turbo 5 its debut on the Tour Of Corsica in 1980,
where he retired due to a broken alternator, but the seeds had been sown,
and the Renault 5 turbo was set for a good, if overshadowed career. It
arrived at the same time as the Audi Quattro and Lancia 037 and as such the
small Renault outfit often had to work very hard to get their cars up the
order. The small cars engines were also often a weak point.
But success did come on both the 1981 Monte Carlo rally (the car here being
reviewed is a model of this car) and also on the 1982 Tour De Corse. Both
times the car being piloted by Ragnotti and co-driven by Jean Marc Andrie.
The Model Itself.
As I have already mentioned the Renault that fly have decided to produce
first is a replica of the 1981 Monte Carlo winner piloted by Jean Ragnotti.
From the outset the thing that struck me about this car is the outstanding
detail. Recently with slot cars we have been spoilt for detail, and this 5
is no exception. The interior appears to be correct in every detail, right
down to the colour of it, the co driver has his pace notes at the ready and
they are themselves marked with writing and a circle has been put around one
particular pace note.
They have even included some kind of wire or lever hanging from the
roll cage on the co-drivers side, any suggestions as to what this is would
be well received please as I have no idea! It is however good that fly has
decided to include it. It can be seen in some of the photos, just in front
of the co-drivers face.
Apologies for the lack of interior photos, but my photography skills
do not extend to being able to capture well enough the interior to do it
justice. Overall for the interior I would give it 8 out of 10.
The detail on the outside is however more of a mixed bag. In some
places the fine detailing is very impressive. All the little lights and
vents are present and correct and the wheels are a spot on match for the
ones on the 1:1 car.
However, some of the finer tampo printing lets the car down. I do
understand that having three colours that mix as badly as white, yellow and
black on one car must have made the job of making the scheme look acceptable
a hard one. Some of the smaller sponsorship logos are also slightly smudged
and discolored. However I would like to point out that I am nit picking
here, on the whole the car is very good, and I must say that I definitely
would recommend it to the collector on just its looks alone.
They have captured the shape and stance of the little car perfectly.
Only the real perfectionist would have much of a problem with the look of
the car. And so I shall award the exterior 8 out of 10 as well.
One other point regards the outside detail is that any buyer should be
wary of the small radio aerial atop the roof. I found that after only 10-12
laps of hard racing it became loose, and I had to glue it back on. Others
may not find this happens with there example, but it worth a look, because
if it becomes detached, I doubt it would be easy to find.
Under the skin the car follows Fly's tradition of putting the motor in
pretty much the same place as it is on the real car.
With the Renault it is placed just in front of the rear axle, behind the
drivers compartment. The motor is set up in a standard sidewinder fashion
and the motor is a standard fly 18,000-rpm unit.
The picture shows this, and also shows the frontal light bits that do
not stay with the body when it is lifted from the chassis but instead stay
attached to the base. Looking at them I doubt whether wiring them to a light
unit would be much trouble, and would also certainly look good when going
round the track.
On my 7.2-meter track at home I tested the Renault with 40 test laps
and then 10 flying laps.
It immediately performed quite well, its performance down the longish
straights was at first quite sluggish, but after a bit of a run in its
performance picked up somewhat and it proved itself to be a capable little
runner, taking the slower speed corners well, and only having a slight
problem with some of the faster more sweeping curves, where I think its
boxier shape hindered it somewhat. Overall, as a runner for at home I would
give it good marks, again around 8 out of 10. However for the serious racers
among you I would advise some work, perhaps weighting of the front end, and
also upgrading tyres. My example was perhaps not the best to judge the try
quality on, as at the factory it had been over lubricated at the back, and
when I got my car a reasonable amount of grease had slipped onto the rear
tyres, something that made the car quite ‘lively’ at first, although it soon
After the 10 laps I set about recording the cars best lap time. Around
my circuit it set a respectable 2.8 seconds as its best time, comparing
reasonably well with the 2.7 set by my Totip Lancia 037 (Fly A992) and
smashing the 3.2-second time set by my Rothmans Porsche (Fly A962). Overall
the car did run well, how well in a club environment is another matter, and
I doubt the car would perform as well de-magnetized. But I was still pleased
with my results.
Totip Lancia 037.
Rothmans Porsche 911 SC.
Overall I have been very pleased with my car, it handles well, looks
the part and certainly sits well when placed next to cars of a similar
The only things that did let the car down where some minor printing issues,
and perhaps a lack of real pure speed, but to me personally these are really
minor issues, and I would not hesitate to recommend this car to either a fan
of the era, genre of racing, or just a general slot car person such as
Thanks for reading my review, if you have any comments or questions I would
love to hear from you.