Renault Twingo RS (2009)

Renault Twingo RS

Renault Twingo RS is a high-performance, affordable entry point into the Renault Sport range. It was unveiled in Boulogne-Billancourt, near Paris, France, on January 31 by the drivers of the ING Renault F1 Team. Compact proportions and sharp styling echo the Renault Twingo Concept show car which was a star of the 2006 Paris Motor Show. The Renault Twingo's distinctive looks have been made more athletic thanks to wider front and rear wings, sculpted side skirts and an aerodynamic spoiler which all point to the car's sporting character. Inside, the cabin has been tailored for focused sports driving, with a number of specific details unique to this model: Renault Sport seats featuring enhanced lateral support, aluminium pedals, a leather steering wheel and a specific rev counter.

The balanced, sporty handling of Renault Twingo RS combines driving enjoyment, sports performance and impeccable safety. The two Renault Sport chassis on offer (sport and Cup) both feature wider front and rear track. The standard ESP can be manually deactivated, ensuring the car is easy to use on a day-to-day basis while maintaining its sporty credentials.

Renault Twingo RS is powered by a normally aspirated 1.6 litre 16V engine developed by Renault Sport Technologies. The engine pumps out 133hp (98kW) at 6,750rpm with 160Nm of torque at 4,400rpm. The unit's punchy character is reinforced by the aggressive engine note, which has been the focus of specific development. The four-into-one exhaust is a technological marvel, striking a perfect balance between acoustics, performance and emissions.

Sporting looks designed for performance

To round off the Renault Sport range alongside Renault Clio and Mégane Renault Sport, Renault has designed an affordable, high-performance hot hatch with bags of character. Renault Twingo RS's compact proportions and sharp styling embody its fun-to-drive, sporty nature, and are reminiscent of the Twingo Concept show car. Additional cooling for the 133hp normally-aspirated 1.6 litre 16V engine is provided by a wide Renault Sport air-intake grille in the front bumper. The sculpted side sills, coupled with wider front and rear wings, underline Renault Twingo RS's assertive character. At the rear, the chromed exhaust tail pipe emerges through a two-tone bumper. The foglamp surrounds, wing mirror shrouds, 17-inch alloy wheels and aerodynamic spoiler all sport the same shade of dark metal grey. On request, Renault Sport decals can be added to the flanks or rear bumper. Inspired by the chequered flag, these designs conjure up the dynamic world of motor sport.

Renault Twingo RS is fitted with generously-proportioned tyres (195/45 R16 or 195/40 R17) mounted on aluminium alloy wheels. They house substantial brake discs and callipers which provide powerful, durable braking performance. Renault Twingo RS also introduces a new colour to the Renault Sport range, with the new Altica Grey once again echoing Twingo Concept. Three other metallic shades are available (Pearlescent Black; Extrême Blue and Platine Grey) in addition to Vif Red.

Sports styling inside

The ergonomic driving position conjures the world of racing with features that are centred firmly on the driver: aluminium pedals, and a four-spoke perforated leather steering wheel with dark charcoal stitching and a stitched red marker at the straight ahead point. Not only does this design offer increased comfort, it allows the driver a perfect grip in the 'ten-to-two' position. The rev-counter is located directly behind the steeringwheel, echoing racing car design. Employing a specific typeface, the numbers grow in size as the needle approaches the red line at 7,000rpm. Just like in the cockpit of the ING Renault F1 Team's R28 Formula 1 car, the rev-counter features a gear change alert to warn the driver as the engine approaches maximum revs.

The dark charcoal interior trim neatly expresses sporting performance. Offering additional lateral support and with excellent levels of comfort, the specific Renault Sport seats allow the driver to feel at one with the car. The colour of the Blood Orange safety belts matches the contrasting stitching on the upholstery. As with all cars developed by Renault Sport Technologies, the Renault Sport logo can be found inside the cabin, on the rev-counter, the door sills and the front seats. Outside, the badge features on the rear hatch and engine air filter.

Combining sports performance with everyday use

With Renault Twingo RS, the experts at Renault Sport Technologies have conquered two challenges with one car: combining true sports performance with day-to-day driveability. This little high-performance car offers genuine driving enjoyment in total safety. The responsive, balanced chassis uses the excellent Twingo platform, and has been tuned to offer precise, consistent sports handling. ESP is fitted as standard to allow the driver to retain control in slippery conditions. However, the system can be manually deactivated and, combined with the absence of emergency braking assist, this reinforces the car's sporty character. The assistance of the electric power steering has been tuned to offer sharp, precise response to the driver's instructions at the wheel. Renault Twingo RS guarantees powerful, durable braking thanks to ventilated discs and bearings inherited from Renault Mégane II, while the callipers are inherited from the new Renault Laguna.

A composed, balanced platform

Just like all other models in the Renault Sport range, the newcomer offers two chassis options: sports and Cup. On both, track has been widened by 60 mm at the front and 59 mm at the rear compared to Twingo GT. These modifications improve stability and lateral grip.

The front suspension is a pseudo-MacPherson type arrangement, with aluminium lower arms. The adoption of pushrods on the dampers improves the performance of the anti-roll bar for even better body control.

Renault Twingo RS's suspension is based on an H-type programmed deflection rear beam. To improve ride and comfort, the dampers are mounted vertically and coupled with variable rate coil springs. The 24mm diameter rear anti-roll bar (compared to 22.5mm on Twingo GT) brings a stiffness gain of 25%. The anti-roll performance has been calibrated to improve rear-end agility.

The set-up of the sport chassis was honed for the best and safest balance between driving enjoyment and performance. Compared to Renault Twingo GT, the chassis features a lower centre of gravity, thanks to a 10mm lower ride height. Stiffer springs (+30% compared to Twingo GT) and uprated dampers (also +30%) add to the car's sporty handling, while firmer bushing has enhanced suspension performance front and rear. The Renault Twingo RS sport chassis is also fitted with generously-proportioned tyres (195/45 R16).

A performance-focused Cup chassis

Renault Twingo RS is also available with a Cup chassis for incisive handling and maximum driving enjoyment. In this configuration, Renault Twingo RS offers handling to satisfy the demands of any enthusiast. This chassis offers optimum body control and its natural home is on the track, where flat cornering and improved corner speed demonstrate its effectiveness.

The Cup chassis rides another 4mm lower than the sport version, and its lower centre of gravity improves in-corner performance thanks to reduced weight transfer. Tuned damper settings and higher spring rates (10% stiffer front and rear) bring greater performance through better body control.

Outside, the Twingo Renault Sport Cup chassis stands out by its Dark Metal Grey 17-inch aluminium alloy wheels.

A punchy, flexible engine

Renault Twingo RS is powered by a normally-aspirated 1.6-litre 16V engine (K4M RS) which delivers 133hp (98kW) at 6,750rpm and 160Nm of torque at 4,400rpm. The free-revving engine offers flexible performance and instantaneous throttle response. At low revs and in the mid-range below 4,500 rpm, Renault Twingo RS offers lively, easy performance for everyday use. Beyond 4,500rpm, Renault Twingo RS gives full vent to its sporting character with true punchy performance.

The 133hp 1.6 litre 16V engine has been developed from the 1,598cc petrol engine. The improved power and torque are the result of a number of modifications and improvements to the mechanical components:

  • The air filling rate has been improved thanks to a specific throttle valve unit and aluminium plenum chamber, plus revised diameters and lengths for the air-inlets.
  • To improve air intake and facilitate gas flow, research was carried out on the aerodynamics of the valve seats. The calibration of the camshafts was revised to a longer opening of the valves and higher lift (11mm compared to an average of 9mm).
  • The design of the combustion chamber and piston enables a high compression ratio of 11.0:1, leading to enhanced combustion and efficiency and reduced harmful emissions.
  • The continuously-variable inlet camshaft improves performance right across the rev range. The actuator varies the timing setting to optimise valve opening and closing.

Sports performance and acoustic enjoyment

The experts at Renault Sport Technologies have worked hard to give the Renault Twingo RS an engine note in keeping with its sporting character. The engine noise is minimal at low revs, but builds mid-way through the rev range to become 'fiery' when pushed to its limits.

The four-into-one exhaust manifold, made from thin-walled steel, forms the object of a patent by Renault Sport Technologies. The technological marvel is to have combined four long steel tubes in such a restricted space. This architecture offers an excellent trade-off between acoustics, performance and emissions. Indeed, the engine has been designed to be able to comply with Euro5 legislation.

Renault Twingo RS is fitted with a revised version of the five-speed manual gearbox (JR5). The closely-spaced ratios are linked to a fast and precise shift mechanism to favour crisp acceleration in all gears.

The Renault Sport Technologies entry-level model

Renault Twingo RS is the latest model in the Renault Sport Technologies range, and will reach market late in the third quarter of 2008 in Western Europe. This latest example of Renault's hot hatch prowess rounds off the Renault Sport family alongside Clio and Mégane Renault Sport.

With nearly 13,000 registrations in 40 countries in 2007, the Renault Sport range registered an increase in volume of more than 50% compared to 2006. The arrival of the new Renault Twingo RS will help the Group expand its presence even further in the hot hatch market. Great Britain is the number one market for Renault Sport vehicles, and should account for a third of sales. France, Spain, Italy, Germany and Switzerland are expected to share approximately 55% of registrations.