Not since the Clio V6 has Renault produced a sporty RWD model for the road. All that, however, changed at last weekend’s Goodwood Festival of Speed when the Twingo GT was officially unveiled – it will go on sale in the UK this winter.
Renault Sport has had plenty of input into the Twingo GT’s design, particularly in areas such as engine and handling with their expertise in chassis and suspension.
Attention to detail makes all the difference to the Twingo GT’s general performance levels which are close even to those of the previous generation Twingo Renault Sport 133.
Renault Sport Cars’ Managing Director Patrice Ratti explained: “It was a real challenge for Renault Sport to work on a rear-engine car since the handling of a rear-wheel drive car is very different from that to which we are accustomed.
“We had to tackle this issue head on, as it were, and I think we have risen to the challenge brilliantly! Twingo GT is a balanced car, fun to drive and offers performance levels that are very close to those provided by a second generation Twingo R.S.”
Notably the car’s three-cylinder, 898cc TCe engine has been titled at 49 degrees by Renault Sport’s engineers to increase its compactness. The air intake has been shifted to the rear left-hand wing to reduce induction to the engine by 12 per cent and improve performance (the overall flow rate of combustive air is increased by 23%)! A specially designed twin exhaust system (housed by a redesigned rear bumper diffuser) plus modified engine mapping takes power up to 110hp, while peak torque stands at 170Nm.
There is enhanced throttle response thanks to the incorporation of development work done for the Mégane Renault Sport. A revised calibration of the ESC means trajectory out of corners is better controlled without diminishing the enjoyment of rear-wheel-drive handling.
With four funky colours to choose from – Blaze Orange, Lunar Grey, Diamond Black and Crystal White – the Twingo GT is sure to stand out in a crowd (or rather a jam when it comes to city travel).
Twingo GT’s Project Manager Benjamin Manceau said: “With Twingo GT, it's about enjoyment above all else. Fine-tuned by Renault Sport, the rear-engine design delivers a really fun car to drive and the acceleration and sprightly chassis are sure to put a smile on your face. Like the other GTs in the Renault Sport range, comfort, affordability and safety complement the overall consistency of the vehicle.”
Twingo GT goes on sale here at the end of the year.