Back in 2013, you may recall having your head turned by a certain pocket rocket from Renault. The mid-engine, race-tuned Renault Twin’Run concept may have served essentially as a living, breathing trailer for the then upcoming new Twingo road car, but my did it go some. Armed with a 3.5-litre V6 straight out of the Mégane Trophy touring car, the dinky and super light concept racer possessed the same 320bhp of punch as Renault’s premier competition hatch.
Since then, we’ve been hoping that Renault might finally give the green light to a performance-geared version of its city car, especially considering its shining track record in hotting-up the larger Clio and Mégane hatches. Now, it seems, the wait is over.
The new Twingo GT, revealed this week by the French manufacturer is by no means a reincarnation of the snarling bantam-weight brawler that was the Twin’Run. However, it does for the first time inject the third generation road-going Twingo with a dose of adrenaline thanks to those arch-tuners at Renault Sport.
The combination of a revised air intake system and modified engine mapping extracts a boosted 110bhp and 125lb/ft torque out of the Twingo GT’s otherwise standard 0.9 litre turbo engine. Tweaks to the gearing ratio plus a stiffer chassis, lower ride height and variable rate steering promise a higher-revving, sharper-handling experience than any previous road-going variant of the rear-wheel drive Twingo.
The Twingo GT tones down slightly on the bristling spoilers and aero kit of the Twin’Run racer, but still looks rather mean with its 17-inch wheels, lateral air intakes, twin exhaust tail pipes and new orange body colour. The geometric grey lined livery is supposed to mirror US military aircraft insignia and can be mixed and matched with three additional body colours besides the orange seen here in these release images.
In the cabin, orange trim details adorn the GT’s cabin alongside a smattering of Renault Sport extras including badged doorsills, aluminium pedals and an alloy gear lever knob.
The Renault Twingo GT won’t arrive in UK showrooms until this winter. But fear not Renault Sport fans. We’ll have the chance to get up close and personal with the spiced-up Twingo later this month when it makes it global debut alongside its hot-hatch brethren the new Mégane Sport Tourer GT205 and the 275hp Clio R.S. 16 at the 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed.