Tiny Twingo GT a

hoot

Renault Twingo GT, action front
Renault Twingo GT, front
Renault Twingo GT, rear
Renault Twingo GT, rear
Renault Twingo GT, interior
Renault Twingo GT, boot
Renault Twingo GT, front
Renault Twingo GT, side
Renault Twingo GT, rear

ALL of the major car makers are now darkening the rear windows of many of their cars large and small.

But in these days of ever increasing safety, this can be a bad thing because the darkened glass restricts rearward vision at night and could mean the driver misses something important.

Given my choice, I would never have darkened glass in a car for that reason.

One of the small cars with dark rear glass is the great little Renault Twingo GT.

Of course for some classic car enthusiasts like me, it harks back to cars the company made in the 1950s like the original 4CV and the Dauphine, because its rear engined and rear wheel drive.

But there's little chance the company will be bringing out any more rear wheel drive cars - apart from the Alpine coupe of course.

The GT has the same tiny footprint as the standard Twingos, which share their production line with the Smart ForFour and are very much the same car.

The hot Twingo also uses the same three cylinder 898cc engine, but here, it's turbocharged to produce no less than 110bhp.

In such a light body, that's enough to give great acceleration from rest and in the gears and it will drag from standstill to 62 miles an hour in under ten seconds.

It also trickles easily along at low revs in higher gears and pulls away without a murmur.

There's even good acceleration in fifth gear of five, but drop down to fourth or third and things become an absolute hoot.

It is a fairly noisy car, with engine note - sweet though it is - wind noise and road roar all taking their part.

But it's a delight to drive in most ways, with tenacious grip and road-holding, point and shoot steering and excellent cornering balance.

The steering ratio is altered for this hot version and I found it too sudden and twitchy. It's not as good as the set up in the standard car and makes the steering like a live thing in your hands at speed.

Any small car with high power has to have stiffer suspension to match, so the ride is lumpy and bumpy on anything but snooker table-smooth surfaces.

Make sure you can live with this before you buy.

Standard kit in this range topper is very good, with stability control, rear parking sensors, foglights that also aid cornering at night, cruise, emergency brake assist, hill start assist and four airbags,

It has 17-inch alloys with ultra low profile tyres and a bodykit that includes side skirts, a rear diffuser and wheel arch extensions.

The funky seats give plenty of support in all the right places, but interior space is at a premium, with little legroom behind a six foot driver, which really makes it a three seater.

The only rev counter comes as part of Renault's R and Go phone app, that also includes sat nav, music streaming and phone control.

Also, there is no reach adjustment for the steering and that's a shame because it meant I couldn't have the seat in the ideal position. It had to be far enough forward for to reach the steering and the gearchange.

FAST FACTS

Price: £14,255

Mechanical: 110bhp, 898cc, 3cyl petrol engine driving rear wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 113mph

0-62mph: 9.6 seconds

Combined MPG:54

Insurance Group: 11

C02 emissions: 115g/km

Bik rating:22%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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