What is it?
The Renaultsport Twingo 133 Silverstone GP Limited Edition, to give it its full title. It’s a one-of-fifty special edition of our favourite titchy hot hatchback, with the options book thrown at it and a £14,995 price tag.
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Renaultsport’s Cup chassis is fitted, lowering the regular RS Twingo’s ride by 4mm and adding stiffer springs and dampers, sharpening responses and body control accordingly.
Silverstone GP spec isn’t just some fancy paint and shiny badges, though; among the newly standard kit is a rortier stainless steel exhaust system and Renaultsport Monitor, an onboard performance tracker which includes a 0-62mph, ¼ mile and lap timer and a G-meter graph. It provides great entertainment and is doubtless a boon on trackdays.
What’s it like to drive?
Exactly the same as any Renaultsport Twingo 133 Cup, and that is no bad thing. It’s one of the most entertaining real-world cars on sale, and provides more fun-per-£ than any supercar. Its 1.6-litre naturally aspirated engine loves to rev and delivers its modest power and torque figures with real character and vivacity.
The steering wheel is needlessly big but the steering itself, though light, is beautifully precise while the pedals and gearchange are lovely. Each key operation provides the feedback you crave when driving quickly, and with grip levels high you can maintain momentum with ease. Good thing, as low-down torque is conspicuous by its absence. But like its bigger brother, the Renaultsport Clio, one short drive in a fast Twingo will be enough to convince the most ardent advocate of turbocharging that a self-breathing engine is still the most satisfying.
How does it compare?
While the lashings of extra equipment make for an appealing package (and the Silverstone Twingo still feels decent value at £15K), a base-spec, £12,210 Twingo Cup provides just as many laughs and will be marginally lighter, too. The new 134bhp Suzuki Swift Sport launches soon (circa £13K) and should provide a tough challenge, while we’ve heard of the excellent 123bhp outgoing model going for less than £10K in the meantime. Try one before you commit to a Twingo; it’s very nearly as good.
Anything else I need to know?
The end of the year sees a new, facelifted Twingo 133 Cup launch. This Silverstone GP model is effectively a run-out special for the current model, then.
|Engine||1598cc , in-line 4-cyl, petrol|
|Max power||131bhp @ 6750rpm|
|Max torque||118lb ft @ 4400rpm|