The Twingo RS Gordini is one of those little hatchbacks which you either love or hate. it’s not a car that you buy for practicality or comfort and you would probably also not even consider it if you are over the age of 25. But let me tell you what you are missing out on and that if you are looking for a micro hot hatch that you should seriously consider this little car.
From the outside, the Renault Twingo RS Gordini is themed pretty loud. Beautiful blue paint with white racing stripes and a set of delicious 17inch alloys which fill the arches snugly. Yes, it screams boy racer and from any angle you would be seriously mistaken if you think all of this is just for show.
For starters, the Gordini name is synonymous with racing and this car has been given the full Gordini treatment. The Twingo features the RS cup chassis and this means it not only handles well, but it actually makes it very exciting to drive. The car turns on a dime and the 98kw 16v 1600 engine is only too eager to rev. Peak power is around 7000 rpm and, while it does sound like it’s screaming, it somehow seems to enjoy it gear change after gear change. The zero to hundred time comes up in only 8.7seconds and, according to Renaults specs, it will run a little over 200kph. In the city this car is an absolute joy, so nippy it feels like no gap is too small. All you have to do is point it and plant it and you will get there, with a big smirk on your face!
Unfortunately we didn’t have the opportunity to test this car on the track but some of my colleagues assure me that it is brilliant and puts up some very competitive times around the Killarney track in Cape Town.
Enough about the performance; let’s get sensible. The seats are Recaro-type seats with some decent leather to them. They are obviously themed to the rest of the car which is blue and black and they are pretty comfortable. The steering is also wrapped in semi blue leather and has a soft touch feeling to it. The Twingo has cruise control fitted for those longer journeys where you need to try and stick to the speed limit and the fuel consumption is claimed to be around the 7l 100km but we tested closer to 9km/l due to our enthusiastic driving manor. It’s pretty difficult to contain yourself, Trust me.
The Twingo also features ABS, traction control and 4 airbags. It also received 4 stars in the Ncap test while pedestrian safety tested a little poorer at only 2 stars. The rear seats are adjustable to the back and, while this limits boot space, it increases passenger comfort; something I didn’t think there would be any of, for rear seat occupants. We managed to squeeze in 2 big okes in the back and they fit perfectly fine, even when the front seats were all the way to the back.
The audio systems are mediocre at best, but it does offer aux input, with Bluetooth for your phone. It’s easily controlled from either the dash or from your steering wheel. The speakers didn’t really offer anything special and I would suggest an upgrade in future for potential buyers. But let’s be honest, you won’t buy the car for the radio.
This brings me to the price. At R215 000 it is a little pricey, but there are no real competitors for it. The Yaris does not offer the performance and is priced slightly cheaper. The Suzuki Alto and Swift, while in the same micro hatch body size, will not give you the same level of performance and handling or the huge grin on your face, drive after drive!
The Twingo RS Gordini… a clear winner then.
For more information, go to www.renault.co.za