Renault reveals 131bhp junior hot hatch at F1 car unveiling
31 January 2008

It won’t be launched to the public until March’s Geneva motor show, but today journalists at the global launch of Renault’s R28 Formula 1 race car got a sneak preview of La Regie’s new entry into the junior performance car market. Built with the Citroen C2 VTS and forthcoming Fiat 500 Abarth firmly in the crosshairs, this is the new Renault Twingo RenaultSport.Some seriously flared wheelarches, bumper and side sill extensions, a dark mesh grille and a bootlid spoiler are the Twingo RS' external identifiers. Just as expected, it's a close match for the Twingo concept that appeared at the 2006 Paris motor show.Inside, the car gets proper RenaultSport bucket seats, a beefier steering wheel, and instruments backlit in red.In the engine compartment, the early information was that this car would get a more fiercely blown version of the Twingo 1.2 TCE’s turbocharged motor. In fact it will use a normally aspirated 1.6-litre lump. This engine won't quite have the same firecracker temperament as the Clio 197's 2.0-litre motor; judging by the look of the rev-counter in our video clip below, it's red-lined at about 6750rpm, where the Clio 197's motor revs all the way to 8000rpm. However, the Twingo RS' 131bhp should still be good enough to power this one-tonne hatch to 62mph in around 7.5sec, and on beyond 120mph.The car also has what Renault refers to as a “responsive and finely-tuned chassis”. The firm has yet to confirm exactly how RenaultSport has changed the standard Twingo’s suspension, but it did say that there will be two options - a standard setting, and an optional Cup chassis. The standard springs will be accompanied with 16in alloy wheels; the Cup chassis adds 17in wheels.The Twingo RS will go on sale in the UK in September 2008. Expect prices to start at around £12,000.

Our Verdict

Renault Twingo 2008-2013

The Renault Twingo is fun, versatile and only slightly flawed. It’s a great effort

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Comments
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31 January 2008

I want it! Hopefully the engine is really a new construction, that would make it sweet, but it`s probably just the old 1.6 K-series engine, which means I ain`t buying it.

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Our Verdict

Renault Twingo 2008-2013

The Renault Twingo is fun, versatile and only slightly flawed. It’s a great effort

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week