French manufacturer's performance arm is studying how it can tease more performance out of third-generation city car
Darren Moss
25 November 2014

Renault's sporty Twingo variant, which could be badged Twingo GT for production, has again been spotted testing ahead of a possible launch at the end of next year.

Initally ruled out by bosses following the launch of the standard third-generation Twingo, Renault's performance arm confirmed to Autocar in August that a sporty variant was being considered. 

The sporty Twingo will be marked out from other models in the range by a lower ride height, bigger wheels and subtle styling tweaks. Test mules have been spotted with different front air intakes and new dual exhausts at the rear.

Speaking to Autocar at the Moscow motor show this summer, Renaultsport boss Patrice Ratti said the firm was considering how to bring a performance Twingo to market.

The main challenge, he said, is extracting sufficient power from the Twingo’s three-cylinder engine. The standard Twingo is offered with a choice of three-pot engines – a 1.0-litre 69bhp normally aspirated unit and a 0.9-litre 89bhp three-cylinder turbocharged power plant. If Renault sticks with the higher-output engine, it's likely the hot Twingo could come with as much as 110bhp.

Due to the tight size restrictions of the third-generation model, Ratti said installing a larger, four-cylinder engine isn’t possible without significantly modifying the rear-drive Twingo’s layout. He also noted that as the performance Twingo wouldn't be able to offer more than the 131bhp offered by the previous Twingo RS, it would likely be badged as Twingo GT.

“I wouldn’t want to make it and not have it be as good [as the last Twingo RS],” Ratti told Autocar “We have to decide.”

Read our review of the previous Renault Twingo Renaultsport 133

Earlier this year Renault's head of small car development, Benoît Bochard, told Autocar that the last Twingo RS was not a success in sales terms, because customers did not want to pay a high price for such a small car.

A hotter Twingo is unlikely to be seen before the end of 2015. Renault previewed the new Twingo with a high-performance Twin'Run concept, the styling of which could inform the performance model.

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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

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Comments
4

25 November 2014
I think Renault are correct not to call this an RS model. I will say I'm looking forward to this being released

25 November 2014
If Ford can get a reliable 140bhp out of the 1.0 ecoboost triple and 200bhp in race trim surely Renault can eek 125-130bhp out of the 0.9 triple.

The old Twingo GT with the older 1.2TCE with a map (and some bigger injectors due to a limiting factor) easily makes a reliable 140-150bhp.

Come on Renault put the effort in.

25 November 2014
dukebox9reg wrote:

If Ford can get a reliable 140bhp out of the 1.0 ecoboost triple and 200bhp in race trim surely Renault can eek 125-130bhp out of the 0.9 triple.

I think 110bhp in a car as light as the Twingo should prove immense fun! I don't see the need to extract much more from it, considering it would be costly to engineer, just for one model that won't be selling in large numbers.

26 November 2014
Looks like the ideal car for those who can't decide which style of alloy to spec :)

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