Renault Sport boss Patrice Ratti confirms GT will be hottest version of rear-driven city car
Jim Holder
1 August 2016

The Renault Twingo GT’s compact engine bay makes it “almost impossible” to build a Twingo RS, according to Renault Sport boss Patrice Ratti.

The Twingo GT (pictured above) was first unveiled at Goodwood in June and is powered by a reworked version of the standard car’s turbocharged 898cc triple, producing 108bhp and 125lb ft thanks to a revised air intake and new engine mapping.

“We think the GT is the right balance between power, agility and cost,” said Ratti. “With that power and the steering and suspension changes, it is really fun to drive, and we’ve been able to do all that without adding too much complication and therefore cost.

“An RS would need around 150bhp, which presents all sorts of challenges. There’s not much room for a four-cylinder engine — which would be the cheapest way to get 150bhp. To get a three-cylinder engine to 150bhp would mean redesigning the engine, and at that point the project becomes very expensive — probably too much for an A-segment hot hatch.”

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Renault Twingo

Will Renault storm the market with its unconventional rear-engined city car, or do more mainstream alternatives do a better job?

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Comments
6

1 August 2016
Renault could get 150bhp from their 898cc triple. The Ford 1.0 litre ecoboost can achieve up to 220bhp in the Formula Ford single seater that set it's own record at the 'ring. A reliable output for this engine is 185bhp. M-Sport have a 1.0 ecoboost Fiesta rally car with over 200bhp for entry level rallying so no major rebuilds required. VW have a 1.0 litre turbo triple that produce 265bhp. So looking at the capacity and output balance it should from an engineering stand point be achievable. It may however cost too much (new turbo/thermal management) or it may be a marketing ploy to get some news and then later on announce that it's being made.

1 August 2016
Hope they take a 150 hp Inline-3 Twingo RS variant into consideration for the next-generation rear-engined model, perhaps by having the potential 150 hp Inline-3 engine power other Renault and Smart models including a compact rear-engined Alpine Coupe.

1 August 2016
Why have they said that the RS could be possible if they put their minds to it , how about a twin engined RS with 2 seats and rear seat becomes luggage bay or even a mid engined one like the old Clio?

1 August 2016
Why have they said that the RS could be possible if they put their minds to it , how about a twin engined RS with 2 seats and rear seat becomes luggage bay or even a mid engined one like the old Clio?

1 August 2016
I'll have a GT, then. The only small car I find even remotely desirable. Well, unless you include the Cactus, bit that seems more like a medium sized car.

1 August 2016
is the word 'almost'.

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Our Verdict

Renault Twingo

Will Renault storm the market with its unconventional rear-engined city car, or do more mainstream alternatives do a better job?

Find an Autocar car review

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