The iconic Gordini badge will be reserved for the most extreme Renaults, and will become halo models above Renaultsport

The Gordini name will only grace extreme editions of future Renaultsport-engineered offerings, according to Renault bosses.

In the past few years Gordini, a Renault-owned French sports car brand, has been attached to special editions of the Clio and Twingo that feature cosmetic tweaks only.

Renault’s chief operating officer, Carlos Tavares, has now laid down guidelines on how the Gordini name should be applied in the future.

Gordini cars will sit above Renaultsport products in terms of performance and be attached to track-orientated ‘halo’ models that reinforce Renault’s sporting image.

“We have told Renaultsport that the Gordini name can be used on track or rally versions of RS cars, but it isn’t mandatory,” said Tavares. “What is forbidden is that we use Gordini on anything other than extreme versions.”

Tavares said Gordini variants would feature enhancements such as “more power, lower ride height, bigger brakes and chassis lightening”, and that such cars wouldn’t necessarily be road legal.

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He expects Gordini cars to help build Renault’s brand rather than generate huge sales. “The track and rally variations can be profitable and should be, but that’s not the main goal,” he said. “It is more about brand building.”

Renault’s smaller cars, such as the Mégane and Clio, lend themselves well to performance tuning, but Tavares said he wouldn’t rule out a hot Laguna, provided the business case was convincing.

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Comments
10

IAD

7 June 2013

What's with the Ikea shelf in the middle?

7 June 2013

Hopefully the "Gordini" badge will also signal the use of MANUAL transmissions ONLY ... No matter how good "flappy paddle" transmissions become, purists will always seek out the ability to totally control the "extreme" sports car ... From what I understand, everyone loves the new Renault Clio Renaultsport 200 Turbo EXCEPT for its dual-clutch transmission ...

7 June 2013

Suzuki QT wrote:

Hopefully the "Gordini" badge will also signal the use of MANUAL transmissions ONLY ...

Let's hope so. In sales terms the EDC needs to co-exist with the RenaultSport magic of old, then everyone's happy.


8 June 2013

'Tavares said he wouldn’t rule out a hot Laguna, provided the business case was convincing.'

That would be a bold move as most other mainstream manufacturers have stopped making hot D-segment cars (Ford, Honda, Mazda, Peugeot, VW), or abandoned making/importing them altogether (Fiat, Nissan, Citroen, Renault). Only the Vauxhall Insignia VXR and, arguably, the Skoda Octavia vRS seem to be left now. The premium brands have swallowed up this niche market and you can't imagine it will ever return. Pity because there were some good cars built over the years (Mondeo ST220, Accord Type-R, Mazda 6 MPS etc).

Personally, I always thought the facelifted Laguna was a handsome car and it would have been great to see it get a RenaultSport Megane drivetrain and sub-£25k pricetag. I think it would have sold well off the back of good Megane sales. An Octavia vRS rival if you like.

7 June 2013

@MikeSpencer - Renault has stopped selling the Laguna in the UK, so I think it doesn't matter that much. However, I always thought it was good that Renault had the balls to build a Coupe version, unlike GM with the Insignia. A RenaultSport Laguna Coupe sounds very appealing somehow. 

Renault Gordini models must be extreme, but they should include some creature comforts too.

7 June 2013

BenC30 wrote:

@MikeSpencer - Renault has stopped selling the Laguna in the UK, so I think it doesn't matter that much.

Yes BenC30, I fear you are correct. No chance of a Laguna return for the UK so no chance of a RenaultSport Laguna either - hatchback or coupe. Sad really. Agree with you the Laguna coupe was a nice looking thing but a real rarity on UK roads. I guess that says more than anything why Renault abandoned this segment.

7 June 2013

A purist would want a paddle shift, as that is the optimal way of controlling the car to get best performance.

 

7 June 2013

supertax wrote:

A purist would want a paddle shift, as that is the optimal way of controlling the car to get best performance.

The 'optimum way' of me affording a seven-bedroom house is to move up north. That ain't happening either.

7 June 2013

Ray60 wrote:

supertax wrote:

A purist would want a paddle shift, as that is the optimal way of controlling the car to get best performance.

The 'optimum way' of me affording a seven-bedroom house is to move up north. That ain't happening either.

Which means you are not a purist when it comes to cheap house buying.

 

7 June 2013

This is how things should've been when they reintroduced Gordini a few years ago. Instead they ended up making the tackiest special editions known to man. Let's hope Renault turn this around, a Gordini Clio sounds great.


"Work hard and be nice to people"

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Our Verdict

Renault Mégane Renaultsport

Can the Renault Mégane 265 uphold the Renaultsport reputation, or has the hot hatchback segment evolved to the point it no longer delivers?

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Driven this week