Showing sporty side
TEST DRIVE RENAULT TWINGO GT
HE Renault Twingo GT looks like a party animal – and doesn’t disappoint when you get behind the wheel. The dinky rear-wheel-drive city car is given the treatment both inside and out leaving the normal model far behind.
And indeed that should be the case as a price tag of a shade over £14,000 is not cheap.
The exterior is glitzy with 17-inch alloy wheels and twin chrome exhaust pipes immediately grabbing your attention.
The GT body kit sees the addition of front and side skirts, as well as extended wheel arches and a rear diffuser. There are also sporty looking decals on the front grille and side doors while a vent above the rear wheels and Renault Sport logos on the kick plates are nice touches.
There are also Renault Sport badges on the side and on the tailgate to set the GT apart.
It looks like it should be nippy and with a turbocharged 898cc three-pot engine and sport chassis, featuring a revised suspension, the Twingo doesn’t hang around – although it is not quite in hot hatch territory.
The official 0-62mph time is 9.6 seconds but the growl emitted from the 110bhp unit combined with a hunkered down stance give the impression it is far quicker than that. The five-speed manual transmission is slick and once underway overtaking is encouraged as there is plenty of power mid-range.
The car responds well to being driven at pace and won’t cost a fortune while you’re barrelling around as it returns around 35 miles to the gallon while an overall average of 45mpg isn’t pie in the sky. Officially the fuel return is 54.3mpg with emissions of 115g/km.
The Twingo GT is fun to drive especially in town where its ability to nip in and out of traffic and zoom away from traffic lights is seen to best effect. Renault’s baby also offers the manoeuvrability of a jet fighter with a tight turning circle make it incredibly easy to park.
The cabin also gets the GT treatment from the French motor manufacturer.
There are tinted rear windows, alloy gear knob and aluminium pedals, plus smart sport seats and splashes of colour around the air vents, door panels and seating trim. Stylish steering wheel inserts and dashboard surrounds also make their presence felt.
Plenty of kit is thrown in with sat nav, climate control, cruise control, rain-sensing wipers and automatic headlights all making an appearance. If I had driven the car for any more than my allotted week though I would have found a way to switch off the annoying alert for traffic cameras which didn’t exist.
One optional extra worth considering is Renault’s R-Link multimedia system accessed through a seveninch colour touchscreen which, for another £600, adds a high definition reversing camera and parking sensors, audio streaming, Bluetooth and more powerful speakers. Other additions inc-lude an eye-catching orange metallic paint job, special GT roof and bonnet decals and storage under the rear seats bringing the total cost of the car to £15,070.
Renault are shrewd enough to know that for the younger generation likely to buy this Twingo these ‘optional’ extras are going to be viewed as necessities.
But that should not detract from the fact their city slicker is GreaT.