Twingo Renaultsport 133 is no more

Answer this simple question: when was the last time you saw a Twingo Renaultsport on the road? Given that there’s only been 1,203 of them sold in the UK since 2008, I’m guessing your answer is probably…never?

Twingo Renaultsport 133 Cup Phase 1 001

Just over 1,200 cars in around five years is hardly groundbreaking, yet it seems somewhat difficult to comprehend given just how much praise then Renaultsport 133 received from the press. Evo magazine gave it four out five stars back in 2008, praising its “grippy, incisive” handling in Cup format, along with the “zingy throttle response” from the 131 bhp 1.6 litre engine.

Here's one in case you're wondering what to look for.
2012 restyle added geekier looks to match rest of Renaultsport range.

It was keenly priced too, selling for £11,550 when first launched – although later creeping to almost £14,000 – which presented it as something of a bargain in the junior hot hatch market. Yet still they didn’t come in droves to buy the baby Renaultsport, despite the UK proving such a popular market for its Clio and Megane older brothers.

Twingo Renaultsport 133 Phase 2 002

Perhaps it was just too much money for a small car. Perhaps some found it a little too hardcore for everyday use, especially with the stiff Cup chassis, around town. Or maybe others just opted for the safe option of the MINI Cooper or Suzuki Swift Sport.

One suggestion was that the little Twingo could have benefitted from more power than the 4-cylinder engine offered. Ironically perhaps, K-Tec Racing have recently announced a tuning package for the Renaultsport 133 which boosts power to 163 bhp. You would imagine this would make a substantive difference to the 8.7 seconds 0-60 mph time in a car that weighs only 1,050 kgs.

Competition pedigree in the shape of R2 rally car.
Competition pedigree in the shape of R2 rally car.

But now it’s all academic, as production of the Renaultsport 133 has ended in advance of an all new petit Renault. There are still six remaining in UK stock should you still want to own one, priced at £13,995 and fitted with the lively Cup chassis as standard. Alternatively you may want to wait and see just what the next version will bring, though given the direction Renaultsport is now taking it’s unlikely to be a rev-happy, naturally aspirated, affair.

I actually pass a Twingo Renaultsport 133 on my way to work. From now on I’ll look at it with slightly more affection, knowing just how rare they actually are on British roads. Fare thee well RS 133; a future classic for sure.

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