This is the French at their loony best, stuffing a big V6 into the rear of a tiny car. And what did they do with it after that? Thrash it round a track, of course!
This is the Renault Twin’Run, a 320bhp race concept with its engine in the middle and rear wheel drive. But none of that matters, because JUST LOOK AT IT. It’s adorable! If ever there were an automotive version of Scrappy-Doo, this might just be it.
The Twin’Run is actually based on the all-electric Twin’Z concept shown last month, both of which give some indication as to how the next Twingo might look. But unlike its silent-running EV sister, hearing the Twin’Run at full throttle is pure eargasm. The 3.5L V6 is lifted straight out of the Megane Trophy racer, mated to a 6-speed Sadev sequential ‘box, and then plonked inside the cabin ahead of the rear wheels. The best bit? The fact that there’s nothing but a simple Perspex screen between you and what sounds like a swarming bee-powered chainsaw behind your shoulder. Don't believe me? Listen to the music here:
Of course, Renault has done this before. Who can forget the utterly bonkers Renault 5 Turbo and two generations of Clio V6? In fact, it’s the rally-winning R5 Turbo that the Twin’Run pays homage to, with the “5” decal on the sides and the futuristic take on the rally car’s spotlights; only this time, LED technology has allowed the lights to be made just 25mm thick.
Thanks to its lightweight construction (composite body panels on top of a tubular spaceframe chassis), the Twin’Run weighs just 950kg, and can hit 100km/h in 4.5s before topping out at 250km/h. The car sits on 18-in wheels, with double wishbone suspension and Ohlins shock absorbers all around.
The interior is similarly race-inspired, although slightly plusher than most racing cars these days. Alcantara features on the doors, dashboard and padded Sparco seats, and the handbrake and gear levers are positioned up high, right next to the steering wheel. The instrument cluster is the most impressive, an oversized binnacle housing both a 5.5-in LED screen (with readouts for speed, revs, gears and various pressure readings), as well as a large starter button to the right, flanked by gauges for oil and water temperature.
Renault says the car is strictly a one-off, which is a shame, because it’s just got “Shut Up and Take My Money!” written all over it. Seeing a whole pack of these going at each other in a one-make series would be a great spectacle though…