Thursday, 24 November 2011
Fire up the... Renaultsport Twingo Silverstone GP Edition
GILLIAN McKeith, I reckon, would be a big fan of this sporty little number from Renault.
This latest version of the Twingo, you see, has been on a bit of a crash diet, in a bid to get rid of any uneccessary blubber and get into great hot hatch shape. In fact, the only place its piled on the pounds is in the price; this run-out Silverstone GP edition weighs in at £14,995 - more than two grand more than the standard model.
But don't think this is all limited edition badges and no trousers - this run-out version comes with a host of options chosen to appeal to the keen driver, including a stainless steel exhaust system and a performance monitoring system which lets you record your favourite boy racer stats, including your lap times and the amount of time it takes to shoot from nought to sixty. Tip for anyone thinking of thrashing one; 8.7 seconds is your target time.
Despite all the options and the wonderfully cossetting bucket seats, however, this is definitely a hatchback designed for thrills rather than frills, something you can't fail to notice with the rather cheap-feeling interior. Spartan on equipment and clad in tacky grey plastics, it's not a car you buy if you enjoy being pampered in your spare time.
Where this car really shines is not on the motorway - where it's just too noisy to be a comfortable companion - but on the B roads, where it's clear that all the crash dieting and the company's Cup chassis really come good as you dart from corner to corner. It is a fanatically fit streetfighter of a car, and always feels far more frantic than its 133bhp 1.6 litre engine initially suggests.
While it's a bit too raucous for my tastes - for my money I'd still go for the slightly more polished Suzuki Swift Sport tested earlier this year for Life On Cars - it is undoubtedly a true hot hatch in the old school sense, and more than capable of giving weightier rivals a run for their money.
Just don't load it up with too much luggage, otherwise you'll undo all of Renault's hard work!