Twingo gets sporty in the fast lane

WHEN RENAULT launched the Twingo towards the end of last year there was no doubt the group was targeting the yuppies and buppies who enjoy getting from A to B with a dash of style.

WHEN RENAULT launched the Twingo towards the end of last year there was no doubt the group was targeting the yuppies and buppies who enjoy getting from A to B with a dash of style.

With the Twingo RS (Renault Sport) it continues to target the same market - except this time around the car is aimed at those who also enjoy a bit of speed on the side and who have a few more bucks in their pocket .

Whereas the standard Twingo comes equipped with a 1,1litre engine, the RS is powered by a 1.6 litre 16V, which basically means this Cinderella now has a bit of attitude.

The RS retains the same quirky designs of its little sibling - individual back seats, rev counter perched directly above the steering wheel, hooter on the indicator, bright orange safety belts. Different to other makes, but it's French after all.

Though it's a 2-door hatch, interior space is nicely utilised and it comfortably fitted three adults and luggage for a weekend away.

Hitting the open road the RS quickly eats up the kilometres with a minimum of fuss and its handling is particularly impressive.

It has a claimed top speed a fraction over the 200kmh mark but it sits comfortably at the national speed limit (120kmh) with enough in reserve for overtaking.

The seats themselves are typically sports-tech, with a slightly hard ride and maximum side support - and with the Twingo name neatly embossed on the back panels.

Being a sports car the clutch feels a bit tight to begin with, but after a couple of days behind the wheel you hardly notice.

Petrol-wise it is pretty thrifty and on the open road expect around 5,7 litres per 100km, increasing to around 9 litres per 100km round town.

The instrument panels on the dashboard deserve a mention, with the large digital speedometer a stand-out feature. It gives an accurate, clear indication of your speed.

To conclude, the Twingo RS will become a niche-type car in the hot-hatch market.

But then again, being different can also be fun.

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