The name Gordini used to mean something to fans of nimble, spritely European cars. Not unlike Fiat's Abarth, Gordini was an officially sanctioned tuning garage whose iconic blue-and-white versions of otherwise humble Renault saloons were offered with factory support. Gordinis won races and rallies by the truckload and remain revered by enthusiasts, many of whom were disappointed by the manner in which Renault revived the nameplate.
Whereas Fiat brought Abarth back out of obscurity to produce a range of exquisitely desirable hot hatches, Renault used the Gordini name for a special trim package and little more. We first saw Gordini versions of the Clio RS and Twingo RS – two hot hatches already respected for their giant-slaying capabilities – but now, Renault has announced that the Gordini name will be used for the top spec of the ordinary, run-of-the-mill Twingo, as well.
The new Gordini line will replace what was the GT trim level, applying the legendary blue paint scheme with offset pair of white racing stripes to the bland econo-hatchbacks. We can only hope European buyers will have enough respect for the model to opt for the black or white color options with silver stripes, instead, and let Amédée Gordini rest in peace.
RENAULT EXTENDS ITS GORDINI LINE-UP
• The appeal of Twingo Gordini R.S. and Clio Gordini R.S. to a younger, but also more feminine market has seen sales of Renault Sport models grow. To build on this success, Renault has decided to extend its catalogue of 'French Touch' cars with the introduction of Twingo Gordini which slots into the Twingo range instead of the GT version.
• Twingo Gordini targets motorists who are looking for a combination of French style and great dynamics. In addition to its Gordini cues, the newcomer boasts a particularly well-appointed interior.
• Twingo Gordini marks the availability of unprecedented equipment for the Twingo range, including new sports seats with additional lateral support and 15-inch diamond-effect wheels (depending on market). The options list also includes Gordini-badged blue and black leather* upholstery.
• Twingo Gordini will be marketed across most of Europe. Order books for the TCe 100hp version are already open in France, with prices starting from €14,800.
A NEW ADDITION TO THE SUCCESSFUL GORDINI LINE-UP
The Gordini range is Renault's modern take on Gordini's world which is appealing to an increasing number of motorists who want a car with a truly exclusive temperament. In a matter of months, Renault has successfully applied its French Touch hallmark to its sporty R.S. versions.
• The French Touch hallmark has boosted sales of Renault Sport models:
o With a market share of almost 25 percent of the five main European countries (up five points), Twingo RS is the second best-selling hot hatch, while Clio R.S. is second in its class thanks to a market share of 20.1 percent (up four points).
o This success is due to the new Gordini versions which account for around two thirds of Twingo R.S. sales and one-third of Clio R.S. sales in Europe.
* Bovine leather seat fronts, cushions, backs and head rests; other parts upholstered in coated fabric.
• Emergence of a community: Gordini's bespoke Facebook page already has more than 28,000 fans, while the iPhone® application has been downloaded more than 115,000 times. The Facebook community's profile differs from that of the conventional R.S. models, in that it is more feminine (twice as many lady fans) and is an average 15 years younger.
• French Touch appeal: nine customers in ten choose the blue livery, while only one percent of buyers order the car without its white stripes. These statistics point to the draw of the Gordini versions' livery and the timeless appeal of their looks. The Gordini line-up has enabled Renault to extend its reach to a younger, more feminine audience, with Twingo R.S.'s market share up by five percentage points in the 30/40 age group and by two points with regard to lady buyers.
Renault has decided to extend the range with the launch of Twingo Gordini which is poised to reinforce the image of the brand's small city car. The new French Touch version replaces Twingo GT and targets customers looking for a dynamic vehicle with sporty looks. It also provides Twingo buyers looking for chic, sporty styling with a chance to profit from the Gordini name.
TIMELESS STYLING CUES
• Exterior Gordini features:
o A Malte Blue metallic finish incorporating the two legendary white Gordini stripes plus matching white styling details and accessories (foglamp surrounds, exterior mirror housings, rear spoiler). Pearlescent Black and Glacier White versions are also available. In the case of the latter, the styling details and accessories are picked out in Cold Metal Grey.
• Interior Gordini features:
o Mixed leather*/fabric upholstery with embroidered Gordini badging and visible white stitching.
o Blue leather* door trim inserts with visible white stitching.
o Blue leather-trimmed** steering wheel with visible stitching and two white stripes to
indicate the straight ahead position.
o Blue rev-counter with white background and bezel.
o Blue metal 'Gordini' gear lever knob and blue leather** gear lever bellows.
o Leather*-trimmed dashboard cowl with visible stitching.
o Black lacquer-finish centre console.
o Aluminium pedal pads.
• With regard to equipment, Twingo Gordini delivers the best of the Twingo range, including manual or automatic climate control (depending on market), cruise control with speed limiter, 80W radio-CD with MP3 playback and Bluetooth® connectivity (hands-free calls, voice recognition, audio streaming) and independent sliding rear seats.
* coated fabric
** split leather
Twingo Gordini can also be ordered with features previously unavailable for Twingo GT, including Renault Sport-type seats with additional lateral support, mixed blue and black upholstery and even blue or black diamond-effect wheels (depending on market). Leather upholstery, which wasn't available for Twingo GT either, figures on the list of options, too.
PUNCHY ENGINES AND LOW CO2 EMISSIONS
Twingo Gordini is available with a choice of two feisty Euro5-compliant engines:
• With the punchy, responsive TCe 100 engine under the bonnet, Twingo Gordini delivers dynamic performance and is great fun to drive.
• The particulate filter-equipped dCi 85 diesel engine provides an exceptional compromise between driving enjoyment and affordable running costs. Thanks to CO2 emissions of just 100g/km, Twingo Gordini dCi 85 will qualify for the French state's €500 'eco' subsidy when order books for this version open on January 2, 2011.
Twingo Gordini combines chic and sporty styling, dynamic on-road performance and low CO2 emissions which permit it to qualify for the Renault eco² signature.
Markets: France, United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Slovakia.
• Two metallic finishes: Malte Blue and Pearlescent Black.
• One non-metallic finish: Glacier White (delivered with Cold Metal Grey styling details and stripes).