Renault Twingo Gordini 13307 | 11 | 2010Scotcars rating

    It may be the smallest car in the Renault range, but the Twingo Gordini is a real goer


    I have a song in my heart. It goes something like this – “A Gordini’s for me, a Gordini’s for me, if you’re nae a Gordini, you’re nae use tae me”. Don’t worry, I haven’t lost it, I’ve just spent an interesting time in one of the quirkiest wee cars to emerge of late – the Renault Twingo Gordini. That last name evokes stirrings in the heart of every motoring enthusiast and fond memories of Amedee Gordini who developed almost 200,000 Renault vehicles in an amazing 20 year period in the Fifties and Sixties.

    Working for Renault, his most successful creation was the Renault 8 Gordini with its bright blue paintwork and twin white stripes, which finished 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 5th in the 1964 Tour of Corsica Rally. Two years later the 1300cc version heralded the Gordini Cup one-make race series and the blueprint for all single-make motorsport championships.

    What Renault has done now is to take the tiny Twingo, their iconic entry level car which began its second generation in right-hand drive for the first time in 2007, and wave the Gordini magic wand over it. They’ve given what is effectively the Twingo Renaultsport 133 the Malta Blue metallic paint finish and two white racing stripes; the bumpers now have distinctive gloss black centre sections and the fog lamp surrounds, exterior door mirror housings and rear tailgate spoiler are all picked out in a contrasting white finish. Inside every car has an exclusive plate showing the build number of the 200 examples which will be sold in the UK. The test car I drove was 002.  

    On the road

    Under the bonnet is a naturally-aspirated 1.6-litre 16V engine newly developed by Renault Sport Technologies, pumping out 133bhp and powering the car along with a characteristic engine note. That’s amplified by the four-into-one exhaust manifold which does a lovely job in balancing the acoustics with performance and low emissions. It’s a small, light car but beautifully balanced with wider front and rear tracks. It made it great fun to drive and I almost felt as if I’d shaved off many decades and become a boy racer once again. Two chassis settings are available, standard and Cup; the latter, which was on the test car, lowers the ride height and adds stiffer springs and dampers.  

    Comfort & Safety

    With its sporting features and 17 inch alloys, the car looks great and is a real head turner. Inside, it’s just as dramatic with dark grey leather RenaultSport seats with an embossed Gordini logo which is repeated through the fabric on the door panels, the gearlever gaiter, gear knob and carpet mats. The steering wheel is in blue and dark grey leather with two white stripes to highlight the centre point. The blue and white-faced rev counter oozes racing car design with numbers that grow in size as the needle approaches the red line at 7000 rpm. It looks sensational, but it’s practical too with all four seats sliding back and forward and some very useful storage space. So you can have fun without having to sacrifice practicality.      

    Should I buy one?

    Why should boy racers have to grow up?

    Alan Douglas

    Quick Stats
    Price OTR/As Tested £14,500 / £15,010
    Engine / Power: 1598cc / 133bhp
    How fast?: 0-62mph 8.7secs,  Max 125mph
    How big/heavy?: H1460mm W1927mm L3607mm / 1049kg
    How thirsty/CO2?: Combined 42.2mpg / CO2 159g/km
    InsGP/Road tax: 21E / Band G £155
    Alternatives: Abarth 500; Alfa Romeo Mito Cloverleaf; Citroen C3 VTi; MINI Cooper S

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