Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

The Twingo Renaultsport comes with one engine – a 1.6-litre which produces 133bhp without using any turbochargers. This means that it does need to be worked hard in order to get meaningful performance and low down the Twingo lacks pulling response. Power peaks high up the rev range and here the Twingo feels at its most responsive and enjoyable – but it’s also noisy and makes for a frantic driving experience.

The standard sports exhaust emits a nice note, but this can only disguise the lack of engine refinement to a certain point and the harder you push the Twingo, the more coarse it sounds. That’s not to say it’s slow though – a 0-62mph time of 8.7 seconds is on a par with similar sporty hatches, while the uprated brakes offer excellent stopping power.

It’s a shame then that the overly light gearchange lacks the snappy action you’d expect in a junior hot hatch.

There are two different handling set-ups available in the Twingo Renaultsport – a standard model and an optional Cup chassis. The standard car is a good balance between comfort and handling – it corners sharply while the ride is forgiving over rough surfaces, albeit far from smooth. The Cup chassis is the more popular choice. It adds a lower ride height, firmer suspension springs plus 17-inch alloys (the standard model has 16-inch wheels) and this is instantly noticeable on the move.

Bodyroll is reduced to a minimum in corners and it feels more reassuring in tighter bends thanks to higher grip levels and precise steering. It’s not all good news though, as the trade off is an incredibly stiff ride, making the Twingo fidget over rough roads. Potholes transmit shocks through the cabin and on long journeys on anything but motorways, the Twingo Renaultsport can quickly become tiring and uncomfortable.