Unveiled in Boulogne-Billancourt, Paris, on 31 January by the drivers of the ING Renault F1 Team, Twingo Renaultsport 133 is a high-performance, affordable entry point into the Renaultsport range.

Its compact proportions and sharp styling echo the Twingo Concept show car which was a star of the 2006 Paris Motor Show. Twingo’s distinctive looks have been made more incisive on the new flagship Renaultsport version 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 exclusive details: Renaultsport seats featuring enhanced lateral support, aluminium pedals, a leather steering wheel and a specific rev counter.

The enjoyable handling of Twingo Renaultsport 133 combines driving enjoyment, performance and impeccable safety. The two Renaultsport chassis settings available feature wider front and rear tracks than lesser models. 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.

Twingo Renaultsport 133 is powered by a normally-aspirated 1.6-litre 16V engine developed by Renault Sport Technologies. The engine delivers 133hp at 6,750rpm with 160Nm of torque at 4,400rpm. The unit’s punchy character is reinforced by the deeper engine note, which has been the focus of specific development. The four-into-one exhaust is a technological feat, striking a perfect balance between acoustics, performance and emissions.

Sporting looks designed for performance

To round off the Renaultsport range alongside Clio and Mégane Renaultsport, Renault has designed an affordable, high-performance hot hatch with bags of character. Twingo Renaultsport’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 engine is provided by a wide Renaultsport air-intake grille in the front bumper. The sculpted side sills, coupled with wider front and rear wings, underline Twingo Renaultsport’s assertive character. At the rear, the chromed exhaust tail pipe emerges through a two-tone bumper. The foglamp surrounds, door mirrors and aerodynamic spoiler all sport the same shade of dark grey. As an option, Renaultsport decals can be added to the flanks or rear bumper. Inspired by the chequered flag, these designs conjure up images of the world of motor sport.

Twingo Renaultsport 133 is fitted with 195-section tyres mounted on aluminium alloy wheels. They house substantial brake discs and calipers which provide powerful, durable braking performance. The new Twingo range-topper also introduces a new colour to the Renaultsport range, with the new Mirage Grey echoing Twingo Concept. Three other metallic shades are available (Pearl Black, Extreme Blue and Mercury) in addition to Capsicum Red.

Sports styling inside

The ergonomic driving position boasts several motor sport features, centred around the driver: aluminium pedals, 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 steering wheel, 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 Renaultsport seats allow the driver to feel at one with the car. The colour of the Blood Orange seat belts matches the contrasting stitching on the upholstery.

As with all cars developed by Renault Sport Technologies, the Renaultsport 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 Twingo Renaultsport, 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. Twingo Renaultsport 133 guarantees powerful, durable braking thanks to ventilated discs and bearings inherited from Mégane II, while the calipers are inherited from the New Laguna.

A composed, balanced platform

Just like all other models in the Renaultsport range, the newcomer offers two chassis options. On both, the track has been widened by 60mm at the front and 59mm 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.

Twingo Renaultsport’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 standard chassis was honed for the best and safest balance between driving enjoyment and performance. Compared to 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 up-rated dampers (also +30%) add to the car’s sporty handling, while firmer bushing has enhanced suspension performance front and rear. The Twingo Renaultsport 133 chassis is fitted with 195/45 tyres on 16″ alloy wheels.

A performance-focused Cup chassis

Twingo Renaultsport 133 is also available with an optional Cup chassis for incisive handling and maximum driving enjoyment. In this configuration, Twingo Renaultsport 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 a further 4mm lower than the standard setting, 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 Cup chassis stands out by its larger, anthracite-coloured 17-inch aluminium alloy wheels with 195/40 tyres.

A punchy, flexible engine

Twingo Renaultsport 133 is powered by a normally-aspirated 1.6-litre 16V engine (K4M RS) which delivers 133hp 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, Twingo Renaultsport offers lively, easy performance for everyday use. Beyond 4,500rpm, Twingo Renaultsport 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 Twingo Renaultsport 133 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 feat 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.

Twingo Renaultsport 133 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

Twingo Renaultsport 133 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 Renaultsport family alongside Clio and Mégane Renaultsport.

With nearly 13,000 registrations in 40 countries in 2007, the Renaultsport range registered an increase in volume of more than 50% compared to 2006. The arrival of the new Twingo Renaultsport 133 will help the Group expand its presence even further in the hot hatch market. Great Britain is the number one market for Renaultsport vehicles, and should account for a third of sales. France, Spain, Italy, Germany and Switzerland are expected to share approximately 55% of registrations.

Pricing, specification and technical information to be made available nearer to UK launch in October.

Optimised production lines

Twingo Renaultsport 133 is produced at Novo Mesto in Slovenia. In December 2007, the site celebrated the production of its 200,000th vehicle in less than a year. This new record for the Slovenian facility reflects the commercial success of New Twingo which was launched in June 2007.

The Renaultsport version will be manufactured on the Clio Campus and New Twingo production line. The three vehicles are based on the same platform, which allowed the facility to adjust quickly to the new model. Some 80% of manufacturing operations are identical between Clio Campus and New Twingo, while 90% are common between Twingo and Twingo Renaultsport. The choice of this production site also meets the affordability and profitability targets outlined in the Renault Commitment 2009 plan.

Twingo Renaultsport 133: specification

Specific front bumper with foglamp surrounds
Specific sills
Wider front and rear wings
Two-tone rear bumper with chrome exhaust tail pipe
16- or 17-inch (on Cup chassis) aluminium alloy wheels
Dark metallic grey exterior mirrors, fog lamp surrounds and rear spoiler
Specific Renaultsport exterior detailing

Dark charcoal interior trim
Chequered-pattern aluminium pedals
Leather steering wheel with integrated thumb rests
Renaultsport rev-counter with gearshift alert
Front seats with additional lateral support, double stitching and Renaultsport logo
Blood Orange seatbelts
Renaultsport logos on door sills
Renaultsport logos on carpet

Overall length 3,607mm
Wheelbase 2,368mm
Width (without exterior mirrors) 1,688mm
Height 1,470mm

1.6 litre 16V normally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine, Euro 4-compliant
Maximum power: 133hp at 6,750rpm
Maximum torque: 160Nm at 4,400rpm
Manual five-speed gearbox (JR5)

Electric power steering

Front: pseudo-MacPherson with aluminium lower arm and integrated anti-roll bar
Rear: programmed deflection torsion beam with coil springs.

Wheels and tyres:
16-inch aluminium alloy wheels (195/45 R16)
17-inch aluminium alloy wheels (195/40 R17) with Cup chassis

Ventilated discs, 280mm at front and 240mm at rear
Calipers: 57mm front, 34mm rear