I’m hot-foot back from a dinner this evening in Geneva with the surprising news that Renault intends to relaunch the Gordini brand.

The badge is likely to reappear in 2010 and will be used on more upmarket, sporting versions of the Twingo, Clio and Megane Coupe.

A senior Renault source said he envisaged Gordini being roughly equivalent to Mini’s Cooper brand. The cars are also likely to cost slightly more than the Renault Sport variants of the Twingo, Clio and Megane.

According to the source, the Gordini brand came out of market research ‘extremely well in the UK and Europe’.

A somewhat surprising result, perhaps, considering Gordini is associated with Formula One of the 1950s and then with hot versions of historic Renaults such as the 8, 12 and original 5.

My guess is that Gordini brand Renaults have probably not been seen in the UK for 30 years. It will also be interesting to see how Renault separates the Renaultsport and Gordini brands – aside from the use of their respective corporate colours of yellow and French blue.