Oversteer Good

Gif: Hillclimb Monsters

There is nothing quite like that feeling of dancing on the fine edge of adhesion. Getting a corner just perfectly right, braking straight and true, finding an early apex, and then powersliding out the other side. There are so many mechanical, chemical, historical, and mental forces at play here to make everything work just right, and when the outcome is this pretty, it just deserves to be celebrated.

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A long time ago a French car company turned the lowly Le Car into a fire-breathing rear-engine supercar. That alone would be utterly impossible in this year of our lord two-thousand-twenty. But goodness, could you imagine if some boring little hatchback got kitted out like a rally car and sold to real everyday customers. Like, imagine if, I don’t know, the Toyota Yaris, let’s say, got big power and maybe all-wheel drive. Wouldn’t that be both Good and Rad? But I digress.

Anyway, this Renault 5 Turbo racer is everything we need to get a little bit of optimism tonight. It’s loud and fun and oversteery. Just look at those two big rubber stripes laid down as it hauls an ass full of engine. Four cylinders in the back hatch, aha! Listen to the engine whine.

Throttle, throttle, throttle, until you’re overcome by the crushing light of impending death. Only then can you slam on the brakes and turn into the corner. This is a car that begs to be wrung out well past its limits, overstepping the boundaries and feeling its wrath. It takes years of practice and balls the size of boulders to master the laggy turbo, oversteering, light steering nature of a Renault 5 Turbo. You may think you can tame it, but you can’t. The best you can do is spur it forward and hang the fuck on.

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But don’t worry, oversteer good. Especially when you get it right. 

Jalopnik contributor with a love for everything sketchy and eclectic.

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DISCUSSION

I have a hard time deciding which was the scariest drive - R5 Turbo II, early 911 in rain, and/or Kawasaki triple.