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    CAR Audi R8 Spyder V10 END OF TERM

    / #Audi-R8-Spyder / #Audi-R8-Spyder-V10-Plus / #Audi / #Audi-R8-Mk2 / #Audi-R8-Spyder-Mk2 / #Audi-R8

    It’s farewell to our drop-top supercar – and its magnificent #V10 . But will we miss having an R8 as a daily driver?

    Knocking about in a drop-top supercar for half a year is likely to sit pretty high up on any petrolhead’s bucket-list. Running an R8 Spyder was, of course, a brilliant experience – one I may never be lucky enough to repeat. And with the Spyder’s £129,990 base price taken up to £167,740 by options such as carbonceramic brakes (£7700), the gloss carbon exterior styling pack (£4900) and the Sport Plus Pack (bringing Audi’s three-mode magnetic adaptive dampers, Dynamic Steering and a sports exhaust, for £3500), this R8 really was deep into supercar territory. But before I get into the many reasons why it was such fun, there are a few (decidedly first-world) irritations I want to air.

    My first complaint relates to the attention a car like the Spyder gets out on the road. Mostly the waves and the thumbs-ups and the friendly comments are all quite fun, but what I could have done without was the steady stream of morons who were determined to lure me into a street-race on motorways and dual carriageways. I’m no saint, and there will be drivers out there who’ll have vivid memories of a bright red projectile firing off into the distance, but mostly I just let them go.

    You could spot these bargain-bin Brian O’Conners a mile off. They’d approach at speed, then suddenly stand on the brakes when they clocked the R8’s extra-wide rump. They’d sit behind for a little while, too close for comfort, before pulling alongside. I never looked over to make eye contact, instead fixing my stare on the road ahead. From here they might circulate the car once or twice, or sit in front of it, or even flash their lights to try to get my attention. After a short while, once they’d realised there was no sport to be had, they’d disappear, probably to recount to their mates the time they roasted an R8 on the A43.

    Then there was the fact that a car such as this one stands out wherever it’s parked. I was always nervous about leaving it out on the street overnight (living in a city, I had no other choice), a concern that was realised one morning when I found the driver’s window had been smashed. Unless you happen to have secure parking wherever you go, I suspect that underlying nervousness is, sadly, part of the supercar ownership experience.

    There were a few annoyances relating specifically to the R8, too, notably the fixed-back bucket seats (a £3000 option), which I’ve written about far too often already, and the width of the thing, which made certain car parks hell to navigate. It also needed a quiet-start function, as my poor neighbours will attest. Does this all sound a bit moany?

    Perhaps it does. Regardless, in just about every other sense, running the Spyder was utterly brilliant.

    How could it not be? I always smiled to myself when I caught a glimpse of it. I made a point of dropping the little window behind the seats on every single journey, no matter how tedious, and stretching the magnificent engine all the way around to the 8500rpm red line, with the exhaust in sport mode, just to let the V10 howl flood into the cabin. There’s no better way to start the day. Or finish it, for that matter. I suggested when the car arrived that this exercise would be more a case of living with a whacking great V10 engine than running a particular car, and it’s certainly true that the motor dominated the entire R8 experience.

    Once the weather improved, sometime in March, I could actually use the car as its maker intended by getting the roof down. I found that quite a calming experience. I wouldn’t drive the car particularly hard with the hood lowered, but instead would stroke it along and enjoy the sounds and the smells and the fresh air. It isn’t often you can use 533 wild horses to their full potential on the road, so having something to enjoy about the R8 at moderate speeds was a massive boon.

    The car averaged around 23mpg, with high-20s just about achievable on a long, steady run. It didn’t need a service during its time with us, but it did need a fresh set of Pirelli P Zeros (just over £1000 fitted) soon before it went back to Audi. Smashed window aside, the R8 didn’t once let me down in any way – which, of course, is how it should be.

    One final thought. Having run a bona fide supercar as my everyday car, I’m not certain I’d be in a hurry to do it again. Not because the R8 was in any way taxing – given its massive performance and handling ability, it was actually very easy to use – but because I wouldn’t want to normalise what is actually a very special thing. I think I’d keep the supercar for weekends and driving holidays. After all, eating steak every night would soon wear thin.

    Date acquired November #2016
    Duration of test 6 months
    Total test mileage 9667
    Overall mpg 22.8
    Costs £1048 four tyres
    Purchase price £167,740
    Value today £120,000-135,000

    Left: Prosser took the R8 to north Wales for a farewell drive. Where better to enjoy that mighty, 533bhp V10 one last time?

    ‘There will be drivers out there who’ll have vivid memories of a bright red projectile firing off into the distance’
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    Dan Prosser
    Dan Prosser joined the group Audi R8 2nd generation
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    Bang, not a whimper / #2017 / #Bentley-Continental-GT / #Bentley-Continental / #Bentley / IGNITION / New Cars / #2017-Bentley-Continental-GT / #Bentley-Continental-Supersports / #Bentley-Continental-GT-Supersports /
    The new Continental GT looms. So Bentley has powered-up the old one… Words Dan Prosser

    Having been launched way back in 2003, the Bentley Continental GT is due for replacement next year. With close to 60,000 cars sold during those 14 years the heavyweight coupé has been a huge success for Bentley so, rather than let the model fade away with a whimper, Crewe has instead produced the fastest and most powerful version yet. In fact, the new Continental Supersports is the most potent roadgoing Bentley full stop, its twin-turbocharged #W12 engine having been wound up to a titanic 700bhp. The Supersports badge was revived in 2009 for a run of 1800 special edition models, but this latest version will be more exclusive still, with only 710 set to be built across coupé and convertible body styles. With a list price of £212,500 the Supersports coupé, tested here, costs £43,600 more than the erstwhile range-topping model, the W12 Speed.

    In keeping with its king-of-the-swingers status the Supersports is the most aggressivelooking Continental GT yet, its new front splitter and rear diffuser, both in carbonfibre, lending a more menacing look. The ungainly rear spoiler can, thankfully, be deleted.

    The 6.0-litre W12 has been reworked for the Supersports with new intake and exhaust systems, bigger turbochargers and strengthened main and conrod bearings. The 750lb ft torque figure is available from 2000rpm, giving a vast, tabletop torque curve and enormous straightline performance: Bentley quotes 0-60mph in 3.4 seconds and a 209mph top speed. There’s so much power and torque at your disposal that the force of acceleration seems to be entirely unrelated to engine or road speed, gear, incline, load or any other of the variables that normally impede a car’s performance. The Supersports just fires itself at the horizon regardless.

    As amusing as that trick might be, it isn’t what makes this the best #12-cylinder Continental GT yet. Instead, it’s the combination of gargantuan performance, longdistance refinement and the surprisingly fleetfooted agility that make it such an outstanding Bentley. The four-wheel drive system and chassis settings are carried over from the Speed and, despite its 2280kg kerbweight, the Supersports is very good to drive on a twisting road, with its light, direct steering, very taut body control and a neutral chassis balance.

    Some of that weight-defying agility can be attributed to the car’s torque-vectoring-by-braking system, borrowed from the 2014 GT3-R special edition, which shuffles torque between the four wheels to where it can be used most effectively. Without it, the Supersports would feel heavier and flat-footed.

    What’s harder to reconcile with the winged ‘B’ on its nose is the Supersport’s raucous titanium exhaust system, which emits such violent pops and cracks on downshifts that you wonder if the entire thing isn’t being dragged along the road behind you.

    There isn’t anything subtle about the Continental Supersports and some will doubtless find its styling and soundtrack crass, but, thanks to its vast turn of speed and total indomitability in all conditions, this is a high-performance Bentley of the highest order.
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    Bentley Continental GT Second generation Open Group

    Bentley Continental GT Second generation 2011 - 2018

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    Dan Prosser
    FIRST LOOK by DAN PROSSER / #Pagani-Huayra-Roadster / #Pagani-Huayra / #Pagani / #Mercedes-AMG-M158 / #2017 / #V12

    More power and less weight for Pagani’s new topless hypercar. Six years after launching the Huayra hypercar, Pagani has shown off the new Roadster at the Geneva motor show. The Pagani Huayra Roadster will launch with a substantial set of upgrades over the hardtop including a more powerful V12 engine and revised gearbox.

    Perhaps most surprisingly, however, the Roadster actually represents an 80kg weight saving over the coupe, achieved through the refinement of its #Carbo-Titanium tub and a significant 25 per cent weight reduction in the glorious suspension. As such the new Roadster should outperform its hardtop sibling whilst dramatically improving on its posing ability.

    Featuring an uprated version of the #Mercedes-AMG sourced M158 twin-turbo 6.0-litre V12 engine, the Huayra Roadster produces 562kW and “over” 1000Nm. The turbochargers have been re-engineered to provide more immediate throttle response, while dry sump lubrication should keep the motor happy even under extreme lateral loads.

    Pagani has paired their upgraded engine to a new #X-Trac developed 7-speed automated manual gearbox, improving refinement and response, while still undercutting an equivalent dual-clutch gearbox in weight by as much as 40 percent. Pagani says that this is the ideal solution for the Roadster, especially as it was the will of Mr Pagani himself for the Roadster to undercut the coupe’s kerb weight.

    Featuring two different roof systems, the carbonfibre and glass hardtop is supplemented by a folding fabric soft roof, which can be stored in the car to ensure a passing rainstorm doesn’t soil the glorious interior. Speaking of which, Pagani has largely left the interior intact, although a notable change is the inclusion of a red starter button in place of the previous Huayra shaped keyhole, which incidentally made it look like a tiny Pagani had crashed into your dashboard.

    “The pursuit of beauty as a fundamental concept, an unbridled work of art, intelligence and open-air passion.” Horatio Pagani

    The Pagani Huayra Roadster is priced from 2.28 million (or around $3.2 million Australia dollars), but even if you have a spare few million lying around you are too late as all 100 Roadsters have already been sold. Customer deliveries are expected to kick off later this year.

    AT A GLANCE

    1 INTERIOR Compared to the coupe, only minimal changes were made to the customisable interior. If you can dream it up, and have the pocket depth to cover it, Pagani will oblige. Ostrich leather in any cover and diamondencrusting are available.

    2 ROOF The glass and carbon hardtop is supplemented by a fabric roof. Despite chopping off the lid, the Roadster is actually both lighter and more torsionally rigid than the Huayra coupe. In fact, it's 52 per cent more rigid than the Zonda Roadster.

    3 ENGINE #AMG builds the #M158 6.0-litre twin-tubrocharged #V12 to Pagani's specifications. For the Roadster, the mighty engine produces 562kW at 6200rpm and more than 1000Nm from just 2400rpm. New turbos mean sharper response times.
    • Gorgeous. It took a few years but the updates Pagani made to the front fascia along with the almost dragon looking engine cover and humps behind the sGorgeous. It took a few years but the updates Pagani made to the front fascia along with the almost dragon looking engine cover and humps behind the seats makes such a huge difference. I wasn't crazy about the way the first gen Huayra looked after the outgoing Zonda had been so aggressive looking. Now, we're getting back into that angry Zonda look and I like it.  More ...
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    Dan Prosser
    Dan Prosser created a new group Pagani

    Pagani Open Group

    Pagani Automobili S.p.A

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    Still crazy? AMG E63 S 603bhp + 4WD = fun. AMG wants its latest cars to be more civil. We, on the other hand, don’t. So does the new 603bhp E63 S look to the future or the past – or both?

    Mercedes-AMG E63S - #AMG has set a new benchmark in the saloon power wars, but has the latest E-class sacrificed its mojo in pursuit of refinement?

    We’re reaching a tipping point. It wasn’t all that long ago that hot hatches were fairly modestly powered things, but these days the quickest of the breed are closing in on 400bhp. Supersaloons are now beyond 600bhp, too, thanks to the new #Mercedes-AMG-E63-S . The darling old brake horsepower is going to have to be retired soon, the poor little poppet. As a unit for describing a car’s performance, it’s just falling hopelessly out of touch.

    But there could be a solution. Perhaps we can adapt the earthquake-measuring Richter scale, reimagine it for our own purposes. As the fastest, baddest cars on the planet, the million-quid, carbonfibre-everything hypercars would slot in right at the top with a 9.0, which, according to the wording of the Richter scale, is enough to cause ‘permanent damage to ground topography’. Seems about right. A really quick sports coupe, meanwhile, would come in at 6.0 (‘damage to a high number of poorly built structures’) and one of those baby-faced little electric cars would be rated at 2.0 (‘felt slightly by some people’).

    I reckon that would place the new E63 S at around 7.0: ‘causing damage to many buildings, even some welldesigned ones’. But, strangely, it wasn’t the ludicrous power output that made me spit tea at my keyboard when the car was unveiled ahead of the LA motor show in November last year, but the inclusion of a drift mode. It caused outrage amongst well-adjusted individuals, as well as some stupid ones, because a drift mode – the very hallmark of a pea-brained performance car – seemed so incongruous on such an expensive and prestigious sports saloon.

    The E63’s 4-litre twin-turbo #V8 is familiar from the AMG GT and the smaller C63, but this version, the most potent one yet, gets uprated internals and twin-scroll turbos. The range-topping S model is good for 603bhp and 627lb ft from 2500rpm, while the entry-level version plods along with a mere 563bhp and 553lb ft.

    For the first time on an E63 there’s no rear-wheel-drive option, which to sideways merchants everywhere must seem like a monumental disaster, but to the rest of us comes as quite good news given that seismic power output. The 4Matic+ system sends drive to the rear axle only until it senses the rear tyres losing traction, at which point up to 50 per cent can be diverted forwards. The base model gets a mechanical locking differential in the rear axle while the S uses an electronically controlled item. The gearbox is a newly developed nine-speed automatic.

    The chassis uses clever air suspension, with double wishbones on the front axle and a multi-link setup at the rear, just like a regular E-class. However, the AMG gets a reinforced bodyshell, a new rear axle, wider tracks, a hollow rear anti-roll bar, bespoke wheel carriers and more aggressive suspension geometry. Indeed, the chassis makeover leaves no kerbstone unturned in the pursuit of sharper, more responsive dynamics.


    Eighteen hundred and eighty kilograms plus enough torque to rotate Anglesey requires some stopping power, so the front brakes use 390mm discs with six-piston calipers. Carbon-ceramic brakes are an option on the S and come with huge 402mm rotors at the front.

    That all looks very promising, but there is one little bug hiding away in the spec sheet. The steering is an electrically assisted system with a variable, speed-dependent ratio. Mercedes claims it delivers ‘optimum steering feel’. If that turns out to be true it’ll be a world first, because most variable steering systems are remote and unintuitive.

    Clearly, modern AMGs are quite different to the fire and brimstone, all torque and no traction brutes that defined the brand for so long. Four-wheel drive and downsized, turbocharged engines are a far cry from the likes of the 6.2-litre C63 AMG or the untameable SLS AMG Black Series – cars that dripped with character and had no need for such artifice as a drift mode. They would have kicked such a thing to the ground then done a burnout on it.

    AMG CEO Tobias Moers has been on a crusade to refine the brand’s image and bring some civility and dynamic precision to its cars – to inject its road-going models with some of the polish of Mercedes-AMG’s ultra-civilised and ultra-precise Formula 1 team. That’s all well and good, but let’s just hope he’s remembered the importance of character and a little bit of old-fashioned silliness in amongst it all.

    This new E63 doesn’t have the wings and diveplanes and distended arches of the most extreme AMGs, but it isn’t that sort of car. Beneath an autumnal Portuguese sun, it looks the part, the sinister Grey Magno paint with dark wheels being a particularly gorgeous combination. The cabin, too, is superb, with premium materials and a low-slung driving position.

    Although the car is refined in town and on the motorway, and the ride quality is mostly very good, there’s just enough about the tension over bigger bumps, the subdued rumble from the exhaust note, the stiff-feeling structure and the weight in the steering to let you know there’s something more to this E-class. It’s familiar but different, like shaking hands with an athlete.

    And when you switch the car into Sport Plus, that athlete turns out to be a mixed martial arts champion who’s suddenly got you in a headlock with one arm while smashing you in the mush with the other, your face both reddening and whitening as the punches rain in but the oxygen drains away. It’s quite a transformation. It’s true that all AMG E-classes have had a split personality of sorts, but there’s more bandwidth now between the buttoned-down Monday morning and shirtless Saturday night aspects of its persona.

    It’s just so damn fast. With close to two tons to haul, it doesn’t quite fling itself down the road with the ferocity of a 911 Turbo or modern McLaren, but with huge performance, so much grip on turn-in and mid-corner, unimpeachable traction and such good body control, it picks apart a twisting road with a grace and agility I’ve never before experienced in a car this vast.

    There’s good pliancy over bumps in all but the stiffest damper mode, and even in the most comfortable setting the chassis keeps the huge body weight under tight control, so it rarely feels as though the car is getting wayward or scrappy. The way it responds to steering inputs is very impressive, too, helped by the fact that the E63 is technically a rear-wheel-drive car on the way into bends. Four-wheel-drive cars can feel understeery because their front tyres are dealing with steering inputs at the same time as trying to transfer torque to the road, but the E63’s 4Matic+ system only sends drive to the front axle on the way out of a corner. If you stand on the power very early you can just about feel the rear axle starting to swing around, but as quickly as it begins, that oversteer is stamped out by the four-wheel-drive system shuffling torque forwards.

    Hit a compression heavily or rattle the E63 over a rough road surface at speed and you quickly appreciate the quality of the damping. The steering is very good, too, and although ‘optimum steering feel’ is somewhat misleading, the rack is very direct with a predictable and intuitive rate of response.

    Any number of pseudo-biblical phrases could be used to describe the E63’s engine, but ‘thundering powerhouse’ would seem to do it best. It combines massive torque output throughout the rev range with the response and linear delivery of a normally aspirated engine. Even the massive, rumbling soundtrack is right on point despite the muting effects of two turbochargers. The gearbox is quick and responsive, too, only losing out to a dual-clutch transmission when upshifts are called for right at the limiter.

    Inevitably the car starts to feel a little out of its depth when we’re released ducks-and-drakes style onto Portimão circuit, but with the pace set by the brilliantly disobedient Bernd Schneider – who may well have been instructed to keep us hacks under a watchful eye but after two or three corners has clearly stopped giving a damn – we do have an opportunity to try out the controversial drift mode.

    And let me tell you now: we were wrong. The E63’s drift mode is a wonderful thing. All it does, and I really mean all it does, is make the car rear-wheel drive. Whereas the system in the Focus RS overloads the outside rear tyre to pitch the car into a slide before firing torque forwards to gather itself up again – easy, prescriptive and not particularly rewarding – the E63’s drift mode simply locks the centre-clutch open, dumping every ounce of power onto the rear axle.

    Sideways merchants rejoice! Whereas other drift modes do all the work for the driver, the E63’s still requires skill and judgement, which is where the fun in such loutish behaviour comes from. If there’s a fundamental problem with the E63’s drift mode, it’s simply the choice of epithet.

    This is where AMGs old and new intersect. This E63 is the fastest, most refined and most clinically effective car of its type, but with that centre-clutch locked wide open it suddenly becomes as brutally overpowered and wantonly excessive as any fast Mercedes to date. Slotting in right at the top of the class, the new E63 has just caused permanent damage to the supersaloon establishment.

    ‘It picks apart a twisting road with a grace and agility I’ve never before experienced in a car this vast’

    Top right: drift mode in all its sideways, smoky glory. Right: 4-litre V8 gets twin-scroll turbos for the first time as well as new pistons; it also features cylinder deactivation. Below right: deep bolstered sports seats are paragons of support.

    Above: ceramic brakes are an expensive option, but perhaps a worthwhile one given the car’s 1880kg kerb weight. Above, far right: dash is dominated by a broad digital display featuring instrumentation and the infotainment system.

    TECHNICAL DATA 2017 / #Mercedes-AMG-E63-S-4Matic+ / #Mercedes-AMG-E63-S / the two-tonne limo that goes like a supercar / #Mercedes-AMG-E63-S-4MATIC-W213 / #Mercedes-Benz-AMG-E63-S-4MATIC / #Mercedes-Benz-AMG-E63-S-4MATIC-W213 / #Mercedes-Benz-W213 / #Mercedes-Benz-E-Class / #Mercedes-Benz-E-Class-W213 / #2017 / #Mercedes-Benz / #Mercedes-AMG-E63-S-4Matic+W213 / #AMG

    Engine #V8 , 3982cc, twin-turbo CO2 203g/km

    Power 603bhp @ 5750-6500rpm
    Torque 627lb ft @ 2500-4500rpm
    Transmission Nine-speed automatic, four-wheel drive, limited-slip differential, torque vectoring
    Front suspension Double wishbones, hydraulic cylinders, coil springs, adaptive dampers, anti-roll bar
    Rear suspension Multi-link, hydraulic cylinders, coil springs, adaptive dampers, anti-roll bar
    Brakes Ventilated carbon-ceramic discs (option), 402mm front, 360mm rear
    Wheels 9.5 x 20in front, 10 x 20in rear Tyres 265/35 ZR20 front, 295/30 ZR20 rear
    Weight 1880kg
    Power-to-weight 326bhp/ton
    0-62mph 3.4sec (claimed)
    Top speed 155mph (limited; 186mph with AMG Driver’s Package)
    Basic price £85,000 (est)
    Rating 4.5
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    Dan Prosser
    Dan Prosser joined the group Mercedes-Benz 213-Series E-Class
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    2017 Renault Twingo GT. Rear-mounted engine, rear-wheel drive, more power, and input from Renault Sport… The hottest Twingo ought to be a blast.

    There are certain things I could tell you about the Twingo GT that would probably make it sound quite intriguing. It is rear-engined and rear-wheel-drive for one thing, and for another it has been given a good seeingto by the hot-hatch wizards at Renault Sport. But I wouldn’t want to mislead you because, as it turns out, the Twingo GT is much more interesting in concept than it is in reality.

    The little Twingo shares its underpinnings with the Smart ForFour. That unusual mechanical layout is not some laudable attempt to channel the spirit of the Porsche 911 into a city car, unfortunately, but instead it’s a clever way of reducing the car’s turning circle (with no engine between the front wheels, they can reach much greater steering angles). Hardly the stuff of a petrolhead’s dreams.

    With only 109bhp, the Twingo GT is one of the least powerful cars to carry the Renault Sport badge in the division’s 40-year history, although with just 1001kg to lug around, that needn’t be a deal-breaker. Power from the 898cc, three-cylinder, turbocharged petrol engine has been increased from 89bhp in the standard model thanks to revised enginemapping and a GT-specific air-vent over the left rear wheel, which feeds cooler air to the intake. With a five-speed manual gearbox, the Twingo GT springs itself to 62mph in 9.6 seconds and tops out at 113mph.

    Renault Sport has tweaked the Twingo’s chassis, too, with springs and dampers that are 40 per cent stiffer, a ride height that’s been lowered by 20mm and a thicker front anti-roll bar. The steering, meanwhile, has been revised to give more direct response and the stability control now cuts in a little later – although it can’t be turned off completely – in a bid to make the GT more fun to drive.

    The Renault Sport-fettled model also gets 17-inch wheels, twin exhaust pipes and unique graphics. it looks quite cool in a tough-but-cute kind of way and with decent build quality and a good level of standard kit – partleather upholstery, climate control, automatic lights and wipers, cruise control – the cabin is pretty good, too. With much stiffer chassis settings than the base model, the GT does have a firmer ride quality, but not to the point of ruin. What’s more of an issue is the variable-ratio steering, which is so vague and rubbery, despite Renault Sport’s tuning efforts, that you wonder if there’s a small component in there somewhere that’s made of half-chewed liquorice.

    You could live with the dull steering if the car were entertaining to drive. Although it’s small and light enough to have an inherent agility and the bespoke Yokohama tyres do offer good grip, the Twingo GT just doesn’t have the poise or balance of Renault Sport’s best small cars. The chassis has been tuned to be very safe at the limit to mitigate the pendulous effects of the rear-engined layout, too, and although the stability control system has been revised for the GT, it still intervenes very early. In fact, it’ll nibble away at the brakes and cut engine torque if you merely turn into a corner with any sort of enthusiasm, which means you could drive the car for mile after mile and never be aware that the power is being sent to the rear wheels.

    The Twingo GT can be quite amusing to drive in the same way that any small, low-powered city car can be fun on the open road – maintain momentum and never brake – but it’s a shame Renault Sport hasn’t injected some genuine sporting ability and dynamism into its chassis.

    Similarly, the engine labours through its rev-range rather than zipping to the red line, and with no rev counter the only way to be sure you’re using all of the revs – absolutely critical in a small car such as this, of course – is to let it butt into the limiter. At least it has enough straight-line performance to nip its way through urban traffic. Throttle response is much improved over the standard Twingo and the gearshift is quite slick and precise, too.

    Ultimately, though, the car’s billing as a GT model rather than a full Renault Sport product tells us everything we need to know. This is not a successor to the hugely entertaining and very capable Twingo 133 of 2008-2013, but instead it’s a slightly quicker, funky-looking alternative to the basic Twingo. Judged that way, the GT is quite an appealing little city runabout.

    We’ll never see a full Renault Sport version, sadly, because the rear-engined layout means there’s no room for a bigger engine and there isn’t any more power to be squeezed from this three-cylinder unit. The third-generation Twingo, it seems, will never fulfil the promise of its unusual mechanical layout.

    Above and left: ideal for the cut and thrust of city driving, the GT is less well suited to the open road; it’s still fun to be around, though, with neat detailing and plenty of toys.

    ‘The steering is so vague you wonder if there’s a component made of half-chewed liquorice’

    Technical Data Specification #2017-Renault-Twingo-GT / #Renault-Twingo-GT / #Renault-Twingo / #Renault / #2017 /
    Engine In-line 3-cyl, 898cc, turbo
    CO2 115g/km
    Power 109bhp @ 5750rpm
    Torque 125lb ft @ 2000rpm
    0-62mph 9.6sec (claimed)
    Top speed 113mph (claimed)
    Weight 1001kg (111bhp/ton)
    Basic price UK £13,755

    + Funky styling, nippy performance
    - Much less fun than a rear-engined Renault Sport-fettled car should be

    Rating 3.0
    • The Twingo's a bit of an oddity and all the better for that, a rear engined RWD city car is certainly a refreshing change from it's FWD rivals. ReallyThe Twingo's a bit of an oddity and all the better for that, a rear engined RWD city car is certainly a refreshing change from it's FWD rivals. Really the Twingo and Smart For Four are in a league of their own and the Twingo GT makes the Smart For Four seem ridiculously overpriced. It's light pretty nippy lot's of room inside and has a lot going for it, Renault Sport reckon there isn't going to be a full fat sport version of the Twingo, but who knows? and until that happens the Twingo GT is a rather compelling solution to the hot city car.  More ...
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