There used to be loads of tiny hot hatches. The Peugeot 106 GTI, the Fiat Panda 100HP, the VW Lupo GTI, the Citroen Saxo VTS, the Ford Sport Ka - all were brilliant fun, but died off without a successor. It seems the landscape is changing though; for starters VW is reportedly making an Up GTI, and before that car even makes its public debut, it has a new rival to vanquish: the Renault Twingo GT.
Oh yes, the quirky little rear-engined, rear-wheel drive city car has spawned a hot version. Well, warm is probably more appropriate: the 0.9-litre turbocharged triple up back has been boosted from 89bhp to 108bhp, while torque has jumped from 100lb ft to 125.
Not a particularly mad set of figures, but given that the standard Twingo tips the scales at around a tonne, it should be quick enough to be entertaining. No performance figures have been revealed just yet, but we’d anticipate a 0-62mph time between eight and nine seconds.
The newfound power and torque are thanks to a modified engine map, plus a new intake system. These aren’t the only changes: under the skin you’ll also find different gearing which “contributes to the new car’s sprightly, free-revving performance,” revised suspension, variable ratio steering and a tweaked ESP system.
We don’t expect the changes to turn the Twingo into a mini drift missile, but in any case, we’re keen to try one and find out - whatever happens it’ll almost certainly be a fun little thing to drive. It’ll be available in the UK this winter, and will make its public debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed later this month.