Sporty treatment for

Renault hatches

Renault Clio Renault Sport 220 Trophy, 2017, front, static
Renault Clio Renault Sport 220 Trophy, 2017, side, static
Renault Clio Renault Sport 220 Trophy, 2017, rear, static
Renault Clio RS, dashboard
Renault Clio RS, seats
Renault Clio R.S., boot
Renault Twingo GT, 2017, front, static
Renault Twingo GT, 2017, side, static
Renault Twingo GT, 2017, rear, static
Renault Twingo GT, 2017, interior
Renault Twingo GT, 2017, boot
Renault Twingo GT, 2017, rear seats

BUY any Renault and then add the Renault Sport factor and you are guaranteed something a little bit special from the high performance arm of the French manufacturer.

The cars always look more boisterous and athletic, they sound more raucous and when it comes to performance the saying ‘souped up' really doesn't do them justice.

And if you want further proof, then simply check out the blisteringly-quick Clio and Twingo models, with all that extra fire-power and bold styling cues.

That opportunity arrived on the twisting country lanes of the Cotswolds.

First up was the Clio Renault Sport 220 Trophy EDC with a Liquid Yellow body that is so bright it can probably be viewed from space.

This car priced at £22,425 (£25,170 with options) can soar from 0-62mph in just 6.6 seconds, maxes out at 146mph, delivers combined fuel economy of 47.9mpg with carbon emissions of 135g/km.

The Clio RS is an instant attention grabber thanks to its 18-inch black RS wheels, extra tinted windows, RS rear spoiler and branding under the Renault logo on the bonnet, ‘Trophy' badging on the side door mouldings, red brake callipers and F1-style front blade in Anthracite.

Step inside the cabin and you will find a dark carbon soft-touch dashboard with RS logo, black air vent surrounds with red inserts, RS dark carbon cloth upholstery with red stitching and RS logos on the front headrests, matt red door panel inserts, electric windows and aluminium pedals to complete the sporty look.

Techno treats are plentiful and include a seven-inch touchscreen, TomTom live navigation, a great sound system with DAB digital radio, Bluetooth connectivity and plenty more besides.

The Clio RS is powered by a 1.6-litre 220bhp turbo engine mated to a dual clutch automatic gearbox.

The car can be quite composed when required but there is a very tempting RS Drive button that transforms things dramatically.

It becomes more aggressive, responsive and sportier in every aspect. The road-holding is super-grippy and it can be thrown into bends as enthusiastically as you dare.

This is also the model that buyers can take to the race track with so it certainly delivers on the thrills count.

But then when you want a more composed experience the car can be calmed down again, so this Clio RS really does offer the best of both worlds.

Next up was the Twingo GT 900cc model with 110bhp. This car costs £13,755 increased to £15,070 with extras fitted and it can reach 62mph from a standing start in 9.6 seconds, tops out at 113mph, has combined fuel efficiency of 54.3mpg with carbon emissions of 115g/km.

Much as I like the Twingo with all its funky characteristics, I simply cannot take the name too seriously - after all, it sounds like a savoury snack served with drinks before the main course. But add the Renault Sport treatment to this car and it transforms into quite the after dinner talking point.

That's because the rather civilised five-door hatchback develops a whole new aggressive personality and has performance capabilities to match.

It looks far sportier thanks to plenty of GT kit such as extra front and side skirts plus extended wheel arches. Then there are the twin exhaust pipes, LED daytime running lights, rear spoiler, Renault Sport and GT badging and 17-inch diamond cut alloys.

The interior boasts extra tinting to the windows, sporty upholstery which is part leather, alloy trim and a range of techno treats such as sat nav, a seven-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth audio streaming, a reversing parking camera and lots more.

The Twingo GT is quite the fire cracker and is guaranteed to put the fun factor back into driving as it whizzes along. The acceleration through the five-speed manual gearbox is consistently good and there is ample power on tap.

The grip is impressive, with fairly minimal body roll when pushed hard into corners and the car is well insulated against the outside road, engine and wind sounds.

My only gripe which became quite apparent after just a few miles was how bouncy the Twingo was due to those 17-inch wheels.

But that aside, the Twingo GT is a welcome addition to the company's line-up. It may lack the fire-power and all-round dynamism that its Clio sibling boasts, but it is still an entertaining little car with bags of personality.


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