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Future models - Renault - Twingo - RS

Racier Renault Twingo on Australian wishlist

On the run: Renault revealed the hi-po Twin’Run concept in 2013 that previewed a hot Twingo, but so far no such production model has surfaced.

Rumoured RS or GT version of rear-engine/drive Twingo not ruled out for Australia

Renault logo13 May 2016

By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS

RENAULT is keen to add a future RS version of its Twingo city car should such a variant become available, due to the high demand for Renault Sport models in Australia.

Spotted testing on public roads in France in recent weeks wearing bigger wheels, rear mudguard air intakes and a rear diffuser set within a redesigned bumper, the go-faster Twingo is reportedly set to surface at this year’s Paris Motor Show in late September wearing either an RS or GT badge.

While refusing to confirm the existence of a Twingo RS or GT, Renault Australia managing director Justin Hocevar said that any vehicle carrying the Renault Sport badge would be a welcome addition to its local range.

“If a certain version of it comes up, we would put our hands up,” Mr Hocevar said at a media drive event for the new-generation Megane this week.

“Who is to say that the magical hand of Renault Sport was to cast their wand across one of them, and then say ‘Hey, would you be interested?’, we would say ‘Yes, of course we are’.

“Last year we finished as the second-largest market for Megane RS globally, after the domestic market of course and with Clio we may be around number five.”

Renault Australia has already passed on the existing, third-generation, X07-series Twingo launched in Europe almost two years ago, on the grounds of high costs, low volumes, and unnecessary range complexity.

However, one company insider said that an RS would be considered, but only if the price was right and its performance is in line with true Renault Sport values.

Co-developed with Mercedes-Benz, Renault builds both the Twingo and the latest Smart ForTwo two-seater and ForFour four-seater models in Slovenia.

Both brands’ products are powered by a rear-mounted three-cylinder petrol engine, in either 52kW/91Nm 1.0-litre naturally aspirated SCe 70 or 66kW/135Nm 0.9-litre turbo TCe 90 guises, driving the rear wheels via a five-speed manual or six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

While Mercedes-Benz officially dropped Smart in Australia when stocks of the previous-generation ForTwo ran out late in 2014, a company spokesperson told GoAuto recently that a lower ex-factory price might lead to the brand’s eventual return.

Speculation in France suggests that the Twingo/Smart’s platform is not large enough to accommodate a four-cylinder engine, meaning that a tuned version of the three-pot turbo would be the only solution.

One possible pointer was revealed last month by Mercedes tuner Brabus, which showed performance-enhanced versions of the ForTwo and ForFour at the Beijing motor show pumping out 80kW, for a 0-100km/h sprint time of 9.5 seconds (1.7s faster than the regular 0.9-litre turbo) and a top speed of 160km/h.

An RS 133 version of the previous (X44-series) Twingo was offered between 2008 and 2013, delivering 98kW of power and 160Nm of torque from a naturally aspirated 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine.

While it was not as successful as Renault had hoped in Europe, it has since become something of a cult car there, prompting calls for a modern-day successor from some quarters.

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