A GT… and a bit more besides
Over the last twenty years or so, Renault Sport has developed unique expertise in making sports cars. The various R.S. and GT versions of Twingo, Clio and Megane have all been front-wheel drive cars. With the third generation of Twingo, the engineers were faced with a different challenge !
“It was a real challenge for Renault Sport to work on a rear-engine car since the handling of a rear-wheel drive car is very different from that to which we are accustomed. We had to tackle this issue head on, as it were, and I think we have risen to the challenge brilliantly ! TWINGO GT is a balanced car, fun to drive and offers performance levels that are very close to those provided by a second generation Twingo R.S.”
Patrice Ratti – Managing Director of Renault Sport Cars
A breath of fresh air for the engine
Whilst sharing its structural design with some of Renault Sport’s most famous sports cars – like the R5 Turbo or the Clio V6 – Twingo remains a small city car that has precise handling and is surprisingly roomy. Nestled between the rear wheels, and tilted at 49 degrees to increase its compactness, the three-cylinder engine takes up all of the available space.
For TWINGO GT, the Renault Sport engine designers therefore worked on optimising the most powerful base, i.e. the 898cc TCe engine.
One of TWINGO GT’s distinctive features is the air intake on the rear left-hand wing, which replaces the air intake that was originally located above the wheel arch. This modification is essential in improving engine performance, since it reduces the temperature of the air entering the turbocharger by some 12%. Combined with an upper section duct, this dynamic intake also helps increase the flow rate of combustive air by 23%.
In order to take advantage of this blast of fresh air, the turbocharger’s rotation speed has been increased. The petrol pump has been specifically-designed to increase the fuel flow rate accordingly and the same applies to the water pump, in order to improve cooling of the powertrain.
The exhaust system has also been specially-designed, with revised calibration of the air flow and back pressure, and is fitted with a twin-exhaust silencer.
With the modified engine mapping, the power has been extended to 110bhp, whilst peak torque stands at 170Nm.
The sprightly, sporty feel is completed with a revised ratio five-speed manual gearbox.
A highly-responsive, sensitive accelerator pedal
The link between the driver and car, as well as the engine and the reactions of the chassis, TWINGO GT’s accelerator pedal benefits from the development work done for Mégane R.S. The mapping of the pedal delivers lively acceleration with rapid throttle response. And when you take your foot off the gas, the dynamic settings limit the feeling of inertia. The driver’s wishes are therefore respected, whilst also improving driving pleasure and comfort. TWINGO GT can be used in two modes : Normal and Eco.
A precise and comfortable chassis
Like the engine, the chassis remains very close to the initial structural design. It has nonetheless been specifically fine-tuned by the Renault Sport teams.
New shock absorbers have been combined with original springs, but with an increased calibration. The anti-roll bar has also been replaced a larger diameter version. Featuring a 20mm lower ride height than Twingo and Twin’Run 17-inch rims – fitted with Yokohama BluEarth tyres – TWINGO GT sits firmly on its wheels.
Changes have equally been made to the car’s electronics, with revised calibration of the ESP. "Without reducing safety in any way, we have focused on improving traction during sporty driving, whilst integrating the new characteristics of the chassis and tyres," explained Matthieu Métivier, Chief Engineer, Overall Requirements for TWINGO GT. "In practical terms, drivers that hit the accelerator pedal on exiting a tight corner will feel a slight drift before the ESP corrects the trajectory without cutting speed dramatically. This means you enjoy typical rear-wheel drive handling."
TWINGO GT fine-tuning was performed by Renault Sport test drivers, who work on all of the R.S. and GT ranges.
Always heading in the right direction
TWINGO GT comes with variable ratio power-assisted steering, a first in the sports city car segment. Firm around the centre position, it has several faces depending on the speed and type of corner, combining steering precision and handling. For example, you need to turn the steering wheel 18° in order to turn the wheels 1° on the motorway, compared with 13° on city-centre roads. With a turning circle of just 4.30m, TWINGO GT is the champion when it comes to tricky manoeuvres and parking. It needs a metre less than most of its competitors to turn around !
The car is a pleasure to drive as soon as you set off
TWINGO GT boasts an excellent weight-to-power ratio of 8.5kg/bhp, compared with the 9.8kg/bhp of Twingo II GT. This saving results in some stunning performance levels, which are even close to those of Twingo II R.S.!
Capable of going from 0 to 100kph in less than ten seconds, TWINGO GT sets a new benchmark among small sports city cars. Pick-up is also among the best in its category, with 80-120kph achieved in less than nine seconds. More than enough to slip through the traffic without difficulty ! Delivering crisp acceleration in all gears, the engine is effective in every situation.
Thanks to its robust chassis, TWINGO GT offers driving precision, instilling a great deal of confidence in drivers. Similar to Twingo II R.S., TWINGO GT’s body-roll control enables higher cornering speeds to be achieved with a sense of ease and comfort.
“With TWINGO GT, it’s about enjoyment above all else ! Once it had been fine-tuned by Renault Sport, the rear-engine design actually delivers a really fun car to drive. The acceleration and sprightly chassis will put a smile on your face ! Like the other GTs in the Renault Sport range, comfort, affordability and safety supplement the overall consistency of the vehicle.”
Benjamin Manceau – TWINGO GT Product Manager
A design inspired by the Twin’Run concept car
Before being fun to drive, TWINGO GT procures a sense of excitement at first glance. Thanks to its 17-inch wheel rims and reduced ride height, the very full wheel arches create visual harmony with a decidedly sporty feel.
The design of the light alloy wheel rims is taken from Twin’Run, the concept car that was the inspiration for Twingo in terms of styling.
The other distinctive components are the lateral air intake, the rear bumper diffuser – redesigned to incorporate the twin exhaust pipe – and the Renault Sport markings on the side and rear of the car.
Unveiled in the new paintwork Piment Orange, TWINGO GT is also available in Lunar Grey, Deep Black and Glacier White.
“Twingo is, to some extent, the cheeky little monkey of the Renault family. For this free spirit, we didn’t want to apply the same blue paintwork that we typically use on our GTs. TWINGO GT doesn’t play by the same rules. It likes surprises and that includes its funky Piment Orange paintwork.”
Mario Polla – Twingo Design Project Manager
Starting on the bonnet and extending the length of the roof, the NACA aircraft-inspired stripes – which echo the aerodynamic form of the famous American plane’s air intakes – are another nod to Twin’Run. The decoration is black on the Piment Orange paintwork, and orange on the other bodywork colours.
The colour scheme of the passenger compartment is consistent with the exterior. Orange trim details brighten up the bi-material leather-fabric upholstery, the centre position on the steering wheel, the air vents and the base of the gear lever. With Renault Sport-badged door sills, aluminium pedals and a zamac gear lever knob, the list of TWINGO GT’s charms just keeps on growing – it’s crying out to be taken for a spin !
- Engine : TCe 110 Stop & Start
- Number of cylinders and valves : 3/12
- Capacity (cc) : 898
- Maximum power kW (bhp) EEC : 80 (109)
- Maximum power speed (rpm) : 5,750rpm
- Maximum torque Nm (m.kg) EEC : 170 (17.3)
- Maximum torque speed (rpm) : 2,000rpm
- Type : Manual
- Number of forward gears : 5
- Type : Variable ratio power-assisted steering
- Full-lock turning circle radius (m) : 4.30
Wheels and tyres
- Wheels (") : Twin’Run 17-inch light alloy
- Tyres : Yokohama BluEarth 185/45 R17 78H (front) and 205/40 R17 80H (rear)
- Bodywork : GT Pack with front and lateral skirting, wing flares and rear diffuser
- Exhaust : Twin exhaust with chrome-finish pipes
- Decoration : NACA aircraft-inspired stripes on the bonnet and roof Exterior Sport Pack in Orange or Black (exterior graphics and lateral sport stripes) Renault Sport and GT markings on the doors and tailgate