Renault carried through the inspiration the 5 Turbo and created the 5 Turbo in 1986, two years after the introduction of the second generation 5 supermini. Although only rated at 115 bhp, the 5 was probably the hottest of the 1980s hot hatch brigade, thanks to the tremendous torque of the 1.4 liter engine in such a light body shell. It was a frustrating car in many ways, being firmly built and suffering from hot starting problems. The chassis though was well liked and highly rated. When the 5 was superseded by the all new 1991 Clio supermini, the Turbo died with it. Renault, after some huge success to switch to a four valve per cylinder arrangement for extra power. The replacement for the 5 was the 137 bhp Clio 16V, which was another Renault success in the hot hatch sector. Renault’s decision to compete the Group N of the 1993 French Rally Championship meant it was allowed to stretch the 1.8 liter engine to 2.0 liters. The result was the Clio Williams, a 150 bhp volcanic hatch. Modifications to the engine were extensive, and a stronger gearbox (from the Renault19 TD) was fitted.
The 19 16v also donated longer lower front wishbones, which widened the front track, and uprated springs and dampers. Only 3800 Clio Williams were built initially, with distinctive blistered front wings and gold wheels. But the car’s success meant a Clio Williams 2 and 3 up setting the owners of the original model, who thought they had a low run future classic in their garages. The Williams was rated as one of the most enjoyable hard driving cars on sale when it was launched.