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Renault Twingo GT – Renault Sport finally has a go at the tiny rear-wheel-drive city car

Hot hatchbacks used to be quite small. Old Mk.1 Golf GTI was a compact car and MINI‘s used to be absolutely tiny. Now, however, most hot hatches are quite large. Compared to the new Renault Twingo GT they are actually enormous. Would you want to own a rear-engined, rear-wheel-drive super tiny hot hatch? Here‘s what you need to know.

Twingo GT is 20 mm lower and has different wheels. Image credit: Renault

Renault is an expert company when it comes to hot hatchbacks. It is because Renault Sport participates in their programs, and Renault Sport really does know a thing or two about driving fast. Various R.S. and GT versions of Clio, Megane and Twingo have been praised as extremely well-balanced, fun to drive and impressively capable hot hatches. And so not the time is right for the little Twingo to get the treatment as well.

Twingo is a good candidate to be an extremely fun hot hatchback. It is rear-wheel-drive with engine situated right over the rear axle. This in the mind of automotive enthusiasts mean only one thing – oversteer. Best sportscars are rear-wheel drive for a reason – when the only job of front wheels is driving it just feels that much more engaging and fun. However, Twingo GT is not really a hot hatch – let’s say it is just warm enough.

Some details suggest that the car is sporty, but make no mistake – it is slower that Volkswagen UP! GTI. Image credit: Renault

Twingo GT has a 898cc three cylinder engine, producing a respectable 110 hp and 170Nm of torque. Customers will be able to choose one of two attractive transmission options – conventional manual or dual-clutch EDC, if they feel like treating little Twingo as a supercar. Importantly, accelerator pedal feel has been improved as well, using lessons learned during the development of Megane R.S. Twingo GT also gets new shock absorbers, larger anti-roll bar, 20 mm lower ride height and a new design of 17 inch alloy wheels.

Car is playful, responsive and looks nice. Exterior improvement include an air intake on the rear left-hand wing, rear bumper diffuser – redesigned to incorporate the twin exhaust pipe – and the Renault Sport markings on the side and rear of the car. However, it is not actually that fast. It can reach 100 kph in 9.6 seconds with a manual and 10.4 seconds with EDC. Not really that swift. Top speed is around 182 kph. For comparison, the new Volkswagen UP! GTI hits a 100 kph in 8.8 seconds and goes all the way to 197 kph. However, as we said, it is more of a warm hatch as opposed to hot hatch.

Renault Twing is rear-engined and rear-wheel-drive so it does have potential for some crazy projects. Image credit: Renault

There is some hope, however, maybe someday we will see Twingo R.S.? So far it seems unlikely, because GT version was not easy to do. Patrice Ratti, Managing Director of Renault Sport Cars, said: “It was a real challenge for Renault Sport to work on a rear-engined car since the handling of a rear-wheel drive car is very different to that to which we are accustomed. TWINGO GT is a balanced car that is fun to drive, especially when fitted with EDC dual-clutch transmission”.

But Renault is known for its crazy projects. Hopefully someday we will see Twingo drifting round streets or at least overtaking some bigger boys on the road.

 

Source: Groupe Renault

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