With a rear-engine, rear-drive setup, the Renault Twingo (like its Smart cousin) has the opportunity to be a real firecracker. Unfortunately, even in turbocharged guise, its tiny three-cylinder engine has other ideas. But when we spoke to Renault's engineers at the Twingo's launch in France a couple of months ago, we were told a strategy was being worked out for a performance model. And that appears to be what we're looking at right here.
After just a bit of teasing, Renault has finally unveiled its newest racer, the Renaultsport RS 01. Destined for one-make competition in the World Series by Renault, the RS 01 features a carbon-fiber monocoque body from Dallara that allows it to slip in at just 2,425 pounds.
America may be better known for its muscle cars than its hot hatches, but those who prefer their power sent to the front wheels with a liftgate at the back aren't exactly hurting for choices these days. Americans can stop by their local dealership and put in an order for a Ford Fiesta ST or Focus ST, Fiat 500 Abarth, Mini Cooper S or Volkswagen GTI or Golf R – excellent choices all, but that's still only a fraction of what our European compatriots have at their disposal. Automakers like Se
The current king of the hot hatches, as crowned by the Nürburgring, is the Seat Leon Cupra. And Renault is none too happy about that. It did, after all, hold the Nordschleife lap record for front-drive cars for several years, first with the Mégane II-based R26.R and then with the third-gen Mégane Trophy. And now it's working on another.
UPDATE: A previous version of this article erroneously suggested Renault was aiming for a sub-8-second lap time. Clearly, this was a rather humorous typo, and it's been fixed. Thanks for all who pointed out the mistake in the Comments!
If you've ever seen a Dacia up close, it'd probably strike you as one of the least likely vehicles to take racing. The Romanian-made vehicles (also sold as Renault models in certain markets) typically drive around a hundred horsepower to the front wheels through a five-speed gearbox and offer little more. Nor should they, really, because they're budget-oriented forms of transportation, but neither should they be taken racing. Or so you might assume, but apparently nobody has told that to the eng
Lots of things change over time in Formula One, but its eras have largely been defined by their engine formula. The turbo era gave way to the V12, then the V10 and on to the V8 that ran its final laps at last weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix. But as it officially hands over the driveshaft to the new 1.6-liter turbo V6 that will replace it next season, Renault wants to say goodbye to the 2.4-liter V8 that has formed the backbone of the series for as many years as it has pistons.
It recently came out that Porsche mulled a return to Formula One but chose a return to Le Mans instead, citing F1 technology's lack of relevance to its road cars. Well Porsche, take this: the Twizy Renault Sport F1 concept, "a bridge between the world of F1 technology and that of production cars." The French Formula One legend took a 17-horsepower electric Twizy and replaced the back seat with an 80-hp KERS unit, just like the ones it produces for its F1 customer teams. Then it added tires from
Following Renault's tie-up with Caterham to produce Alpine sports cars, Renault's sub-branding bifurcation is taking more sensible shape. When the French brand announced the revival of the Gordini brand in 2010, the plan was that Gordini cars would "slot in above the current Renaultsport offerings." That plan was quickly shot dead, Gordini models starting with a Clio and Twingo that featured extra performance bits, moving onto the base Twingo as a paint-job trim level, then seemingly slapped on
As soon as the Williams Formula 1 team inked an engine supply deal with Renault in 2011, auto journos salivated at the thought of a new Renault Clio Williams. (This was after the return of Gordini, during the rumors of the return of Alpine, before the rumors of the Initiale brand, and long before the new Clio was introduced.) The original Clio Williams arrived in 1993 to celebrate Nigel Mansell's 1992 F1 World Championship in his Williams-Renault. In fact, Williams had nothing to do with the hat
Used to be if Renault wanted to celebrate a Formula One team with special edition, it would celebrate its own. But having sold the bulk of its own team to Lotus and Genii Capital in favor of supplying engines to a greater variety of independent teams, its latest commemorative hot hatches honor the (current) king of them all: Red Bull Racing.
Renault has confirmed the unveiling of an Alpine concept at this weekend's Formula One Grand Prix de Monaco, but as we get closer there are new details alongisde new questions. Just yesterday came the leaked image of a concept called the A110-50C, heavily based on the Renault DeZir concept, that could turn out to be the thing itself or pure Photoshop fancy. French press is reporting that Renault COO Carlos Tavares has confirmed that a 400-horsepower concept will appear that "could be homologated
If Jesus had treated Lazarus' resurrection like Renault has treated that of its Alpine brand, Lazarus would have politely requested, "Please, leave me alone." In 2008, the Alpine's return was rumored to come riding on the platform of the Nissan 370Z. In 2009 the revival was declared D.O.A along with the co-developed Nissan 200SX. In 2010 it was back on, the new Alpine to be based on the reputation-making Alpine A110 Berlinette. In January of this year there were still rumors but still no car, wi
As a Formula One entity, Renault has gone from engine supplier to full manufacturer (having acquired the Benetton team back in 2000) and back to engine supplier (having all but completely divested the team now under the Lotus banner). The French automaker's competition engine works also powers Caterham and Williams this season, but most importantly, the Red Bull Racing team that is returning once again as World Champions. So whereas previous Renaultsport special edition hot hatches celebrated th
You know, we can live without the Laguna and the Scenic. We really can. But when it comes down to the hot hatches, well... we kinda wish we could get out driving gloves on some Renault models on this side of the Atlantic. Certain models in specific, like the Megane 265 Trophy.
Back in the early '90s, Renault and Williams were dominating Formula One, and their success spilled over into one of the most celebrated hot hatches of all time. And now that the two are getting back together for the 2012 season, rumors are afoot that they'll collaborate on a revival that could prove one very tasty beast indeed.