There's something intrinsically right about a quick, cheap hatch. On a deserted back road they'll keep up with anything short of McLaren or Ferrari's finest, but you don't have to worry about sky-high insurance premiums and expensive carbon panels in an accident. It's a potent recipe, and one that Renault has almost perfected over the years, so it's with great excitement we welcome the little Twingo GT into the world.
The Twingo might be tiny, but its rear-engined, rear-drive layout certainly carries some serious credibility in the world of sports cars. Power comes from a turbocharged, 900cc three-cylinder engine pumping out 110 hp (82 kW) of power, and a chubby 170 Nm (125 lb.ft) of torque.
Okay, so those figures aren't exactly going to set the world on fire, but they do represent an improvement over the 90 hp (66 kW) and 135 Nm (100 lb.ft) you get in the regular version. The boost comes courtesy of an ECU remap and revised air intake system, while drivers are able to keep it on the boil with sportier gearing designed to accentuate the motor's revvy nature.
Of course a good hot hatch is defined by the way it attacks a bend, so Renault has fitted the car out with a revised suspension, tweaked ESP calibration and variable rate steering. We're not convinced that's turned the Twingo into a rear-drive rally star, but the tweaks should free up some of the potential lurking within the car's 911-aping underpinnings.
On the outside, Renault has gone all out with the stickers and paint. The car also sits on unique 17-inch wheels, and its lowered ride height works also gives it a more imposing stance. Down back, there are twin exhaust tips to signal the GT's extra intent.
Renault hasn't released details about pricing, but the Twingo GT will be on sale from the start of Northern Hemisphere winter. It will make its first public appearance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, kicking off on June 23.