Renault Twingo Gordini RS For South Africa

Renault has revealed the Twingo Gordini RS for South Africa, a model which features Malte Blue metallic paint with white racing stripes. The front end has been enhanced with foglamps and a lipspoiler, where there are new side mirrors and tinted rear windows.

There is also a set of 17-inch aluminium alloy wheels available, and Gordini Series badges.

Inside will boast two-tone blue and black leather upholstery, blue leather door panel inserts, a blue and black leather steering wheel and a new gear-lever. The instrument panel will have a white surround.

Equipment includes a MP3-CD player, steering-wheel mounted controls, Bluetooth connectivity and an Electronic Stability Program.

Power will come from a 1.6-litre 16-valve fuel-injected engine which offers 98kW of power with 160Nm of torque. This motor will use 7.0-litres of fuel per 100mk/h and emit 165g/km of CO2.

Pricing starts at R214 900.

Press Release

ENAULT TWINGO GORDINI RS

Return of a legend: the Gordini name is back!

* Rebirth of the Gordini name revives the brand’s glorious motorsport heritage
* Offers an even more exciting variation of the popular Twingo RS
* Visually striking, thanks to exclusive colour, sporty detailing and chic trim
* Will attract customers seeking a distinctive, compact performer hatch
* Headlines styling, specification and technical updates for entire 2010 Twingo range

The Renault Sport range is already revered for its exceptional combination of dynamic styling and segment-defining driving enjoyment. And now Renault South Africa has upped the ante with the addition of the spirited Twingo Gordini Renault Sport (RS) – a car that revives one of the most legendary names in motorsport.

Indeed, Amédée Gordini, who developed almost 200 000 Renault cars for racing over a 20-year period, achieved some of the brand’s greatest sporting achievements. The revival of the Gordini label pays homage to this proud legacy, while building on the renowned expertise of Renault Sport and offering a fresh interpretation of its values.

“The Twingo Gordini RS is the most exciting and dynamic rendition of the Twingo range to date,” explains Renault SA managing director, Xavier Gobille. “It introduces a new, even more exclusive and distinctive alternative to the rapidly growing ‘hot hatch’ market,”

Gobille adds the Gordini RS is the most expressive interpretation yet of Renault’s drive to produce an inherently sporty range of cars at affordable prices. “We believe that image-conscious buyers in SA will be drawn both to the Gordini’s bold athletic flair, and its esteemed racing heritage.”

HISTORY

Amédée Gordini was born in Bazzano near Bologna, Italy, in 1899. From an early age he had a strong fascination with cars and motor racing, and began living his dream by working as a mechanic in his teens. After World War I he settled in Paris and competed in various forms of motorsport, including grand prix racing and the legendary Le Mans 24-hour.

He later established the Gordini company that transformed production cars into accomplished racers, modified regular engines for competition in endurance and grand prix racing, and even built specialist racing cars under his own banner.

In 1956 Renault approached ‘The Sorcerer’, as he was commonly known, to develop its rear-engined Dauphine sedan into a competitive rally car. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Gordini subsequently reworked the Renault 8 into a formidable rally contender from 1964 and, along with the Gordini-fettled Renault 10, ensured that Renault became a prominent and highly successful feature of the racing and rally circuits – especially in SA.

The Renault 8 Gordini, with its bright blue paintwork and twin white stripes, was one of his most successful and iconic creations, finishing 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th in the 1964 Tour of Corsica rally.

In 1966, the 1300 cc version starred in the first Gordini Cup one-make race series, which would become the blueprint for all single-make motorsport championships.

At the end of 1968, the Gordini company was merged into Renault, and it became the foundation for Renault Sport Technologies – a division which has produced the impressive and prized Renault Sport (RS) versions of the Clio, Mégane and Twingo over the years.

It’s fitting, then, that Renault pays homage to Amédée Gordini and the legendary cars that proudly carried his name with the relaunch of the Gordini label as the most exclusive, fashionable and sporty rendition of the Twingo RS.

Although comparatively new to SA buyers, following its local launch in October 2008, the Twingo has been a dominant player in Europe for many years. It is the best-selling small city car in France, accounting for almost a third of this highly competitive segment.

Equally, the Renault Sport version of the Twingo (launched locally in May 2009) is the sector’s best-selling small sporting model in its home market, contributing significantly to the Twingo’s dynamic image.

DESIGN

The most aspirational and spirited rendition of Renault’s chic city car will appeal to customers looking for a distinctive vehicle with assertive character, matched to characteristic French flair and the unique appeal of the special Gordini design elements.

Indeed, the cheeky, eye-catching style of the compact Twingo has been given a decidedly more athletic and striking visual countenance, courtesy of the unique embellishments that make this range-topping RS derivative stand head and shoulders above the mainstream hot hatch pack.

In fabulous Gordini tradition, the Twingo Gordini RS features gleaming Malte Blue lacquered metallic paint. This classic hue is made all the more attention-grabbing with the addition of two white racing stripes extending from the bonnet, over the roof to the tailgate like a badge of honour.

The front and rear bumpers are enhanced by a gloss-black finish, while the foglamp surrounds, exterior mirror housings and lip spoiler are all picked out in a contrasting white for an even sportier appearance. The rear windows feature additional tinting, which adds even greater visual drama to the design.

The exclusive styling is also differentiated by the fitment of striking double-spoke 17-inch aluminium alloy wheels (up from the 16-inch versions on the Twingo RS), matched to lower profile 195/40 R17 tyres that confidently assert this Twingo’s dynamic potential.

As a further classic touch, ‘Gordini Series’ badging featured just aft of the doors provides an appropriate salute to the heyday of the Gordini Cup one-make racing series, which debuted in 1966.

The same Gordini spirit prevails in the cabin too, thanks to a range of special features. These are headlined by superb Renault Sport seats with extra lateral support, plus arresting two-tone blue-and-black quilted, and Gordini-badged, leather upholstery.

This is matched by blue leather door panel inserts, and blue-and-black leather steering wheel with white stripes on top to indicate the centre point in true motorsport tradition. Add in a blue gearlever bellow, Gordini-badged gear knob, blue rev counter with white surround and a trimmed dashboard cowl with visible stitching, and you have one of the most extrovert and invigorating cabins in the business.

SPECIFICATION

While the strong motorsport associations created by the Twingo Gordini RS may create expectations of a bare-bones features list, this special model is anything but, taking the already extensively equipped Twingo RS to heights well above the segment norm.

The Gordini boasts automatic climate control, automatic headlamp activation and rain sensor, cruise control with speed limiter and independent sliding rear seats that enable the boot capacity to be usefully expanded from 285 to 959 dm3.

Continuing the trend set by Renault’s other new models, this top-flight Twingo RS is equipped with a fully-featured audio system with a separate high-level display. It incorporates a radio and MP3-compatible CD player with steering wheel-mounted satellite controls, hands-free Bluetooth cellphone integration as well as line-in connectivity for personal music and MP3 players.

Safety is also taken up a notch with the addition of curtain airbags as standard (over and above the driver, passenger and side airbags), while the driver-oriented focus of this distinctly sporty model is evident with the electronic stability programme (ESP) that can be fully disengaged if desired.

Although the features list is already impressive, the Twingo Gordini RS buyer is able to select from optional features such as a panoramic opening sunroof, a carpet set embroidered with the distinctive Gordini motif, and a special Gordini key cover.

PERFORMANCE

To ensure that it reflects the Gordini’s glorious motorsport heritage, the new addition to the Twingo range is based on the same highly rated performance and equipment package as the proven Renault Sport version, as developed by the renowned Renault Sport Technologies team.

The acclaimed Sport chassis and suspension of the RS are retained, but given even greater handling prowess with the inclusion of 17-inch wheels and lower 40-profile tyres. However the commendable ride quality of the RS ensures that it’s perfectly suited to everyday use.

Feisty performance characterises the 1,6-litre 16-valve fuel-injected engine employed in the RS, delivering a distinctive, specially tuned engine pitch under acceleration to suit its sporty demeanour. This unit is credit with a peak power output of 98 kW at 6 750 r/min and a lively 160 Nm at 4 400 r/min.

Notably, in its updated 2010 model year evolution this powerplant boasts reduced CO2 emissions, dropping from 165 to 160 g/km. Combined cycle fuel consumption is rated at 7,0 l/100 km.

PRICING AND VALUE

Despite the exclusive visual interior and exterior enhancements, matched to a significantly higher standard level of specification, the Twingo Gordini RS represents exceptional value at a recommended retail price of R214 900.

This represents a justifiable R15 000 premium over the standard RS, but remains well below the price positioning of its mainstream rivals.

Peace-of-mind motoring is naturally standard fare as part of the Renault Confiance all-encompassing care package, which includes a three-year/60 000 km Service Plan and Renault’s five-year/150 000 km warranty.

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