Renault has a new rear-en­gined cor­ner-eater that seems cus­tom built for break­fast runs in the Mid­lands, but will it come to SA?

Around cor­ners, the rear-en­gined GT’s stands back for no one

The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE - AL­WYN VILJOEN

WITH its rear-en­gined, reardrive lay­out, Renault’s new Twingo GT will be right at home when it is put on dis­play at the Good­wood Fes­ti­val of Speed in the UK next week­end.

The plac­ing of the 899 cc, three-cylin­der en­gine gives the new Twingo GT the push of a rear-wheel drive around cor­ners with­out los­ing any of its abil­ity to pull over the bumps in the straights.

The TCe turbo en­gine has been tuned to de­liver 82 kW and 170 Nm from low revo­lu­tions, thanks to a re­vised air in­take sys­tem and mod­i­fied en­gine map­ping, while dif­fer­ent gear­ing fur­ther con­trib­utes to the new car’s sprightly, free-revving per­for­mance. In or­der to take ad­van­tage of this per­for­mance boost in to­tal safety, Twingo GT’s chas­sis fea­tures re­vised sus­pen­sion, spe­cific ESP cal­i­bra­tion and vari­able-rate steer­ing.

The re­sult, states Renault, is sharp han­dling and re­spon­sive steer­ing feed­back for pre­cise cor­ner­ing and out­stand­ing road hold­ing. Th­ese fea­tures com­bine to give driv­ers of the Twingo GT with af­ford­able plea­sure be­hind the wheel. The look was in­spired by the Twin’Run con­cept car and is eas­ily recog­nis­able thanks to its 17-inch wheels, lat­eral air in­takes, twin ex­haust tail pipe and new Pi­ment Orange body colour.

New Clio fo’ sho

While lo­cal deal­ers have no news on the GT com­ing to SA, the fourth it­er­a­tion of the Clio is sure to make its way here. The new Clio ben­e­fits from the use of fin­ish­ing ma­te­ri­als to date found only in Renault’s high­erend models. The seats are clad new ma­te­ri­als and the dash and pan­els are cov­ered in plas­tics that are a plea­sure to touch and view, with less chrome trim­ming and­more matt fin­ish­ings.

A very fru­gal 1.5 dCi 110 diesel linked to a six-speed man­ual gear­box takes the Clio’ choice of pow­er­trains to eleven.

Mean­while, Renault in Pi­etermritzburg is of­fer­ing sweet deals on the Duster, to my mind still the most SUV for the money in SA, which help to soften the blow should the lit­tle GT never come to our roads.

PHOTO: RENAULT

With its rearengined, reardrive lay­out, Renault’s new Twingo GT is a hand­ful of fun.

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