Saturday 26 November 2011

Road - Frenzy in French

The big reason that I like small cars with a sporty nature is that you can drive them flat out (at times!) without breaking the speed limit. Whereas large capacity sports cars and supercars can break this country’s quaint driving laws in first gear, let alone fifth, small cars can reward the enthusiasts with more buzz per bhp than bonus-fuelled bank busters.

And since Renault is coming to the British Rally Championship next year with its hugely popular (in France) Twingo Renaultsport R1 and R2 Trophy Championship, Renault gave me a wee shottie in their French squib, the Twingo Renaultsport 133.
It may only have a 1598 cc engine and a five speed ‘box, but it’s got more bounce than a hyperactive budgie. The 133 hp engine needs revs to get the most out of it, but you get the full ‘French frisson’ at  4000 rpm all the way up to 6750. Keep it stirred and this thing’s got more flounce than the Follies Bergere.

Suspension? Forget it. But given the fun and frolics, only a boney bummed supermodel would complain. That’s down to the almost ‘sidewall-less’ 195/40 x 17 Contisport Contact 3 tyres which grip like a tramp to a sovereign, but soak up any ‘give’ in the shock absorbers. When on the limit, the wee thing skips and bounces through the bends, but never feels out of control.

Ford used to have a reputation for producing fun-filled and affordable small cars, but given what Renault is up to these days, that reputation is seriously under threat.

Fifteen grand for this much fun can’t be all bad.

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