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Renault revives Gordini hot hatch brand

Tue, 10 Nov 2009 00:00:00 -0800

Renault is to revive the Gordini name, using it on range-topping versions of its Renaultsport Twingo, Clio and Megane hot hatches.

The first new-generation Gordini will be based on the Renaultsport Twingo 133, and be unveiled on 25 November 2009 at Renault's premier showroom on the Champs Elysees. The new car will be called the Twingo Gordini RS, and then a Clio Gordini RS will follow in spring 2010.

The Gordini cars will be priced above their Renaultsport siblings, but there won’t be any mechanical differences between the two brands. Both will share the same Renaultsport engines and choice of regular or Cup suspension setups.

'We’re not creating a substitute for other Renaultsport models. It’s something new. Gordini is for a chic sport clientele and not for purists,' said Eric Zuber, Renault's head of brand marketing and brand promotion. According to Zuber the Gordini cars will be 'more premium, chic and more exclusive.' There’s no indication yet about how big the price premium will be.

A Megane Gordini RS will follow after the Twingo, but Zuber declined to comment on the possibility of a Gordini-branded Laguna coupe, or electrically-powered Gordinis. But Zuber did reveal that while the traditional white racing stripes would be part of the package, the French blue paint has been re-imagined for a modern audience.

Zuber also made reference to the aborted Alpine sports car project and claimed the Gordini programme was not meant as a cut-price replacement: 'Alpine is another topic altogether. We have a frozen project in its late stages because of the (economic) crisis, but it’s different as Gordini is a chic and sporty version of a pre-existing vehicle whereas Alpine is an entirely separate model.'


By Chris Chilton