Two years after the 133 was discontinued, the new Twingo has now been subject to the go-faster treatment. Whereas the previous version was a Renault Sport model through and through, however, this new car is badged Twingo GT, which means it slots in between Renault’s mainstream products and its very sportiest models.
The third-generation Twingo, launched in 2014, is an intriguing small car. Its three-cylinder turbo engine is mounted in the back and sends what modest power it produces to the rear wheels, which, Renault says, is good for packaging. And although a rear-engined, rear-wheel drive hatchback seasoned with the expertise of one of the best high-performance divisions in the business does sound like bundles of fun, the reality is somewhat different.
Renault Sport’s engineers have lowered the ride height, modified the steering to make it more direct, increased spring and damper stiffness by 40 per cent, fitted a thicker front anti-roll bar and developed bespoke tyres with Yokohama. Power from the 898cc petrol engine has been bumped up from 89bhp in the standard car to 109bhp, thanks to revised engine management software and a new vent in the left flank that feeds cooler air to the intake. Renault quotes a 0-62mph time of 9.6 seconds and a 113mph top speed. The only gearbox option is a five-speed manual.