Cup chassis option makes the Twingo 133 a true hot hatch

What is it?

The latest addition to Renault’s Renaultsport line-up. As the name suggests, the hot Twingo has 133bhp under the lid, which should hopefully add some much needed spice to Renault’s smallest hatch.

The chassis has had a serious reworking with wider tracks (60mm wider at the front and 59mm at the back), 10mm lower ride height than the Twingo GT on which it is based, thicker anti-roll bars and numerous cosmetic changes including new wider front and rear wings.

The Twingo 133 is also available with a Cup chassis option that has 10 per cent stiffer damping and springing, and an additional 4mm taken off its ride height; it’s the spec we’re testing here.

What’s it like?

Far sportier than the Twingo GT, but given the considerably wider track and 133bhp, that’s no surprise. What is good to know is that in Cup guise the Renaultsport Twingo feels special enough to deserve its sporting title.

Sure, the ride is far stiffer than on the standard Twingo 133, but that is unlikely to much bother a 28 year-old who’s getting his or her first taste of performance motoring. A little hot hatch should be stiff and lively over the bumps.

The engine revs to 7000rpm and is fitted with the most beautiful set of exhaust manifolds on a car not born in Modena; they also create an entertaining rasp that gives the 133 lots of character.

A closer-ratio gearbox would make this car even more fun to drive, but as it is the Cup mods transform the standard car. What’s more, it will set you back just three figures on top of the regular 133.

The steering feels sharper and more direct, and the whole car feels more lively. You also get sexy 17in wheels in the Cup package that look much more the part than the 16in rims on the standard 133.

Inside you get plenty of graphics, sports seats with Renaultsport embroidery and a rev counter in front of your nose behind the steering wheel.

Should I buy one?

Yes. If you’re prepared to accept the choppier ride and extra cost of the Cup chassis option, the Twingo 133 is a proper little hot hatch which will keep young enthusiasts entertained before moving up to more serious equipment.

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Jon Hardcastle 2 September 2008

Re: Renaultsport Twingo 133

Funky looking little car, 133 bhp sounds weedy but 980kg is fairly low by todays standards, so should go pretty well.

I'm with Teg on Renault taking the mantle from the other French lot when it comes to sporting hatchbacks.

simonali 1 September 2008

Re: Renaultsport Twingo 133

Puzzled. Do you have to be 28 to buy one of these?

TegTypeR 29 August 2008

Re: Renaultsport Twingo 133

Sat in one of these at the motorshow and the first thing that struck me was how awful the seats were. A side from that certainly had appeal.

Certainly shows Renault have taken the genuine hot hatch mantle from Peugeot.