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.”
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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