Thursday, January 21, 2010

Renault Reveals Entry-Level Twingo R1 and R2 Rally Cars

Two new entry level rally cars based on the Twingo RS are joining Renault's range of competition cars that also includes the Clio Renaultsport R3 Access and Maxi. Aimed at budget conscious buyers, the Twingo R1 and R2 come in the form of a motorsport kit featuring all the required parts aside from tires. Renault said that customers who buy the kit will be able to purchase a Twingo Renaultsport 133 at a special price.

First up is the Twingo RenaultSport R1, which can participate in all regional, national and international rallies. In essence, the R1 is a production car fitted with some essential safety equipment such as a welded roll cage.

The R1's 133HP 1.6-liter engine and gearbox are identical to the production model though Renault said that an ECU setting giving torque at lower engine speeds will be homologated to improve mid-range performance.

Along with the safety equipment, the Twingo RenaultSport R2 package adds an array of performance upgrades including a more powerful 1.6-liter unit with 160HP at 7,200 rpm and a peak torque of 160Nm at 5,500rpm. The four-cylinder unit is coupled to a five-speed 'dog' sequential gearbox and steering column mounted shift lever while there's also a ZF limited slip differential.

In addition, the Twingo Renaultsport R2 is fitted with bump- and rebound-adjustable shock absorbers, motorsport brake pads and one-piece aluminium wheel rims that are available in 6.5x16" (tarmac) and 6x15" (gravel) sizes and can be fitted with 195/50 R 16 (tarmac) or 195/65 R 15 (gravel) tires.

Inside, the R2 features the same dashboard and central console as on the road car, but comes with two Sabelt Renaultsport seats and harnesses as well as an LED instrumental panel that displays all the necessary information.

Renault said that both kits go on sale in early April, 2010, with the R2 package (not including the price of the car) starting at €27,990 without tax. The French automaker did not release pricing for the basic R1 kit.

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