From £13,165
Less frills but cheaper thrills for Twingo 133 Cup

Our Verdict

Renault Twingo Renaultsport 133
The Twingo Renaultsport 133 is a real terrier of a hatchback

Renaultsport-fettled Twingo represents the return of the old-school hot hatch. Hello old friend, we've missed you...

What is it?

Depends how you look at it. In one way this Renaultsport Twingo 133 Cup is an even more Spartan version of the standard car, trimming weight and increasing performance, thus gaining the “Cup” tag that has been screwed on to Clios of a similar ethos.

On the other hand it is a de-specced hot Twingo, a cheaper entry into the world of RenaultSport. Air conditioning, automatic headlamp and wiper operation and tinted rear windows have all been binned and a one-piece bench finds its way into the rear in place of the complex independent sliding back seats.

Let’s face it, the Cup isn’t quite ready for Group N status but the changes have to be worth a few kilos (the Clio 197 Cup lost 20kg with similar omissions) and add kudos to the lairy-looking baby Renault.

The big news, however, is the savings to your wallet. The 133 Cup costs £700 less than the standard version, but naturally comes with the Cup chassis pack thrown in, which is normally a £650 option.

With just 270 Twingo Renaultsports finding UK owners this year – 30 per cent of total Twingo sales – Renault will be hoping the reduced price will help to shift a few more units, too.

The 133 Cup also introduces the new ‘Black and White’ Renault i.d. pack option, with ‘Glacier White’ bodywork and gloss black finish to the door mirrors, rear spoiler and front bumper trims for £150. The Cup 17-inch alloy wheels can also be painted gloss black for a further £175.

What’s it like?

Official figures for the Twingo Cup’s diet programme don’t exist, so working out any performance gains cannot be done on paper. On the road at first it doesn’t seem that much easier, with no obvious hike in poke, but give it time and the Twingo Cup shows up a little newfound verve.

Admittedly the Cup badges create a placebo effect, but a touch less inertia gives a slightly smoother power delivery, ironing out the initial hesitancy low down in the rev range. The needle seems to zip round to the 7000rpm limit a nanosecond quicker too, releasing that addictive rasp at the 6750rpm peak power a little sooner.

The Twingo Cup also leaves you wondering whether a few grams of sound-deadening material may have found its way to the factory floor too, the cheeky exhaust note seemingly resonating slightly louder in the cabin. Working out what else could be chucked to save a few more grams becomes a new preoccupation in traffic jams, too.

Through the bends the Twingo Cup is excellent, much like the standard car, with a chuckable, exploitable chassis, matched by the quick steering. Again like the standard car when it is fitted with the Cup chassis, the pay-off is a rock hard, sometimes bouncy, ride, although this is unlikely to put off potential customers of this type of car.

The lack of air con is also unlikely to be a great loss, considering the savings. Visually the ‘Black and White’ pack works well, giving the car a suitable competition look. The only bugbear being the optional black paint hides the 17-inch five-spoke alloys, which are among the best-looking wheels on the market.

Should I buy one?

Absolutely, if you want a no-nonsense hot hatch. For an enthusiast the Twingo 133 Cup is one of the most entertaining steers around, for any money.

Ollie Stallwood

Join the debate

Comments
7

9 October 2009

lol

NO THANKS

I'll stick to my 92' Honda Civic which is nicer looking only 1.5 SOHC and produces the same power......

Renault are SHITE

9 October 2009

[quote Love JDM]

lol

NO THANKS

I'll stick to my 92' Honda Civic which is nicer looking only 1.5 SOHC and produces the same power......

Renault are ***

[/quote]

..."nicer looking"? Can't agree on that one... "Produces the same power"? Every car loses power after some years, so your Civic probably produces quite a-bit less than the Twingo.

Quite impressed at how Renault are managing to make such great sporty cars...I mean, the sporty versions like the Renaultsport versions all seem brilliant!

 

- Follow your own star -

9 October 2009

a 92 civic? ahahaa.

honda fanboy.

11 October 2009

[quote Christian Galea]Quite impressed at how Renault are managing to make such great sporty cars...I mean, the sporty versions like the Renaultsport versions all seem brilliant![/quote]

They have a long history of it dating back to at least the R8 Gordini.

Now that Alpine are no longer produced the guys that are still there all concentrate on Renaultsport products.

12 October 2009

[quote Love JDM]I'll stick to my 92' Honda Civic which is nicer looking only 1.5 SOHC and produces the same power......[/quote]

Get 1.6 SiR and then you are talking or even better a Civic with a 1.8 Integra Type-R engine and shoot down Megane R26Rs . I agree that the Civic is better looking, it still looks good and is so low. The Renault by all accounts seems to be a cracker though. Just think about comparing the Civic with the Twingo seems illogical but they are both small hatches albeit from different eras. It just shows how tall modern hatches have become, plenty of headroom in a Civic btw.

12 October 2009

A 1992 Honda is probably more reliable than a 2009 Renault...

12 October 2009

A good proposition, I think.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron UK review
    First Drive
    29 September 2016
    First UK drive finds the facelifted A3 Sportback e-tron remains a first-rate plug-in hybrid that is packed with tech if a little short on driver appeal
  • Citroen C11.2 Puretech 82 Furio
    First Drive
    29 September 2016
    Citroën's city car gets a new sporty-looking trim level, adding visual adornments, but no premium for the 1.2-litre Puretech triple we're driving
  • Mercedes C350e Sport
    First Drive
    28 September 2016
    Petrol-electric C-Class is a surprisingly well-priced alternative to a diesel but not the greatest example of the new ‘PHEV’ breed
  • Car review
    23 September 2016
    Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer
  • Ford Ka+ 1.2 Ti-VCT 85
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    A rounded, refined and well-sorted bargain supermini – once you’re used to the confusing role redefinition imposed on the once-cheeky Ka