Renault corporate design senior vice president Laurens van den Acker said the new Twingo embodied a number of traditional sports car qualities that made an RS version a tantalising prospect, but acknowledged limitations in its packaging may have the final say.
“I think this cocktail of small car, rear-engined, rear-wheel drive just begs the question. All the enthusiasts are watching and wishing for that,” van den Acker told CarAdvice at the Geneva motor show.
“It’s high on my Christmas list, but it’s not sure at all yet because firstly the space is not very big on the inside, the engine compartment.
“If I had a wish it would be to make a proper RS version, but it’s too early to say.”
Renault Sport Tehnologies CEO Patrice Ratti poured cold water on the suggestion of a new-generation Twingo RS, however, telling CarAdvice the tightly packaged engine bay could not fit an adequately sized engine, which he suggested would need to produce “150hp (112kW) or more” to be worthy of an RS badge.
The third-generation Twingo is available with two tunes of the brand’s turbocharged 0.9-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, producing 51kW/91Nm and 66kW/136Nm. A five-speed manual is the only transmission option available at launch.
While a Twingo RS is off the table, Ratti suggested a sporty GT variant was a possibility, potentially offering slightly more power and torque and a subtly retuned chassis compared with the regular models.
Renault teased hot-hatch enthusiasts last year with the outrageously powerful Twin’Run concept: a 235kW/380Nm V6-powered three-door that previewed the design of the new Twingo.
Renault offered the previous-generation front-engined, front-wheel-drive Twingo in RS specification. It was powered by a 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine that produced 98kW and 160Nm.
The new-generation Renault Twingo looks unlikely to be sold on our shores. Renault Australia corporate communications manager Emily Fadeyev told CarAdvice recently it was considering the sub-Clio-sized city car but admitted “at this point it’s not looking very likely”.