Guide to buying a used car: Renault Twingo RS

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26 July 2021

Many models from Renault have received the Renault Sport treatment in the past. Megane and Clio have been seen in a variety of RS guises, with performance-focused modifications that were designed to give the Type Rs (GTIs), AMGs, and Type Rs a few more sleepless nights.

We’re looking at Renault Sport 133’s smallest hatchback. It was arguably the model that set the standard for small performance cars in the future. The car weighed in at just 1120 kg, was relatively inexpensive and is still one of our favorite performance-focused vehicles.

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The GT was the previous warmed up Twingo. It accounted for 25% UK Twingo sales. So expectations were high for RS 133. It didn’t quite reach the same heights. Renault sold approximately 250 Twingo RS models each year between 2008 and 2013. Although it wasn’t what sales representatives wanted, this is great news for potential buyers of used cars looking for an affordable pocket rocket that has real classic potential.

The performance was very similar to the Volkswagen Up GTI today, which is powered by a naturally-aspirated, 131bhp (133PS), 1.6-litre VVT gasoline engine. This allowed for an 8.7sec 0-62mph speed and a top speed of 125mph. It was distinguished from other Renault Sport Twingos with a Lairy Bodykit that included a front spoiler and a bumper and black rear wings. The car also had 16in alloys. An optional PS650 Cup chassis added to its dynamic capabilities. Keener Twingo enthusiasts will be pleased to see the tinted rear windows and bespoke light trim, as well as the chrome tailpipe.

Before the 2009 unveiling of the Cup Edition, the basic Twingo RS came standard with sports seats and air conditioning. The standard Twingo RS was 4mm shorter than this model. It also had no window tint or air conditioning. For a weight savings of 10 kg, its rear seats were removed and replaced by a single-piece bench. Twingo Cup was priced at PS11/795, which is PS700 more than standard. Although the Cup was praised for its speed and ability to go fast, it lost points for its hard ride on ordinary UK roads.

Range-topping Gordini came with the most kit, including cruise control and climate control. The limited-run Cup-chassed Silverstone GP edition, which was released in 2011, has extra rare appeal due to its silver paint and stainless steel exhaust. It’s not necessary to be concerned about the model age when looking at each one. The 2012 facelift brought new paint schemes and a larger spoiler to the vehicle, while virtually all other oily parts remained unchanged.

If you’re willing to look, the 133 is now available for only a tenth its original cost. The price of newer standard cars is around PS4000. However, the Cup model has the least amount of equipment (barring the very limited Silverstone GP spec). It’s worth looking for if your goal is to be an exciting and agile road racer. This is if you are willing to wear a few T-shirts just for the air con… it’s worth the sacrifice to get one of the most powerful small-performance cars available.

How do you get one?

A view from an expert

David Kirk, K-TEC Racing

We see many cars used on the track regularly without having any problems. “Engines and gearboxes are reliable and strong. It is an excellent place to begin your journey into Renault Sport ownership. These cars are extremely agile, capable, and responsive. The Cup chassis allows for great handling and the engine revs well. These cars live up to their title of “pocket rocket ‘…” and we have achieved over 160 hp with camshaft and exhaust upgrades.

Beware of the Buyer

# EngineAlthough it’s reliable, some might have been damaged by boys-racer owners and/or on track days. Be aware of the maintenance plans. Cambelt replacement costs around PS500 and is required every 6 years, or 72,000 km. Service is available every year, or for 12,000 miles

# Steering:The steering nuts may become loose and cause clunking at the front. Drivers have complained of a worsening problem with their steering rack. This can be characterized by a crackling or grinding sound. It can cause steering problems and is costly to repair.

# SuspensionBall-joint issues may result from decades of driving. Drivers often feel that the Cup suspension package compromises ride quality too much to justify its benefits. To make your decision, test drive a car with or without the Cup chassis.

#TiresTwingo RS came with Continental ContiSportContact tyres. These performance-based tyres are still available, but they can be quite expensive. For PS98.97 each you will find ContiSportContact 3 tires. These may have been replaced with more regular rubber on some used models. Make sure you check.

# SpecificationThe specification level is not listed in many Twingo RS car ads. Before you make a purchase, ensure you have all the documents available and consult an equipment list. Cup models will have a lower suspension and removed air-con. One-piece rear seats are also available. Gordinis come in 17-inch wheels, which are larger than the 16-inch standard. They also often have Renault Sport racing stripes.

It is also worth learning

Twingo 133, which has been updated with lower emission outputs, will be subject to a cheaper road tax. The earlier models produced 165g/km, which will cost PS210 per year. Later models (from 2012) produce 150g/km. Taxes are around PS170 each year.

What amount to spend

PS1500-PS2999Cup models have surpassed 100,000 miles.

PS3000-PS3999Models in Gordini-spec with sleek bodywork and top-notch mechanicals.

PS4000-PS4999Cars with lower miles and older models that have had custom modifications are facelifted.

PS5000 or higher:A handful of later models are available with optional extras, and lower mileages than 30k.

We found one.

RENAULT TWINGO R 133 GORDINI 2010/10-REG 105K MILES PS3000This Gordini model is in excellent condition and has a complete service history. It also includes air conditioning. The standard chassis is used, however it comes with four Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires and new Brembo brakes. The timing belt, water pump and timing belt were changed in the last year.

LEARN MORE

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Publiated Mon 26 July 2021 at 06:21.58 +0000

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