In France it was known as the Renault R5 – a benign hatchback designed to compete with the Volkswagen Golf/Rabbit. In the U.S. it was sold as Le Car. I test drove one in the early 80s and observed that it had worse-than-normal front-wheel-drive tendencies – understeer, which means the front end plows ahead despite your insistence on going around a corner. The Golf of that period was so much better, so that’s what I bought.
But Renault, determined not to relive the Maginot Line in rallying, retooled the car, putting the engine in the middle and making it rear-wheel-drive. But then the car had the Porsche 911 problem – severe snap oversteer because the weight of the engine/drivetrain was nearly hanging out the back. This meant the rear end would come ’round the driver’s side window and put you firmly into a ditch. Or over a cliff. At least you got to see a bit of your fancy sports car before plunging to your death. Similarly, the R5 Rallye:
Drove a mid-90s Porsche 911 once – it nearly handed me my ass. Much more so this car.