If there is one thing that Renault does right, it’s hot hatches. So, when the French carmaker says its just announced Twingo GT will build on the “inherent agility” of the rear-wheel drive city car and deliver “even more driving pleasure” we’d tend to believe it. That’s because we don’t doubt Renault Sport’s proficiency in turning mundane little hatchbacks into scorching hot pocket rockets. And a rear engine, rear-wheel drive supermini with a manual gearbox should anyways be fun.
Power comes from a 0.9-litre three-cylinder turbo engine, the same that powers the Smart ForFour Brabus revealed a few weeks ago, with which it also shares a platform. While the Smart comes equipped with an automatic transmission, the Twingo gets a manual gearbox. In the GT, the three-pot makes 109bhp and 170Nm of torque, which, although doesn’t sound much, is an improvement of 20 horses and 35Nm over the standard Twingo. This additional oomph has been gained thanks to a revised air intake system and modified engine mapping, while altered gearing will add to the car’s lively, free-revving performance. While no official acceleration figures have been released, it should be quicker than 10.8 seconds, which is the quickest a regular Twingo can accelerate to 100kph.
The Twingo GT’s chassis has also been worked on with a tweaked suspension, a recalibrated ESP and revised variable-rate steering. Renault claims all these changes will result in “precise cornering and outstanding road holding.” Visual changes include 17in wheels, twin exhaust pipes, and a new orange shade for the exterior, apart from three other colours, grey, black and white. Inside, the GT gets Renault Sport-badged doorsills, aluminium pedals and an alloy gear lever knob.
Set to go on sale later this year, the Twingo GT will be on display at the 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed, which will be held from June 23 to 26.