Renaultsport has taken a hot-hatch hat-trick at this year’s What Car? Awards, the glittering ceremony held this evening at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London. In an unprecedented result in the prestigious ‘Best Hot Hatch’ category, all three price categories were won by the French brand’s iconic performance arm.
After gaining the Lap Record for the Nürburgring, with the Renault Megane R26.R with an impressive 8:17 then fighting off stiff competition with the bigger engined Focus RS.
In order of size and performance, new Twingo Renaultsport 133 Cup won the under £15,000 category, the Clio Renaultsport 200 Cup won the £15,000 to £20,000 section and the latest introduction, the new Mégane Renaultsport 250 won the over £20,000 group. To top it all, the Mégane was also crowned overall ‘Hot Hatch of the Year 2010’.
What Car? judges praised the seductive style of the Mégane and, most importantly, the driving experience, commenting that it’s “an impossibly seductive driving machine” and that the car “instantly reacquaints you with the joy of driving.”
Entry-level to the Renaultsport experience, the Twingo Renaultsport 133 Cup, felt like a “junior World Rally car” and the Clio Renaultsport 200 Cup was described as being “simply brilliant.”
Steve Fowler, Group Editor of What Car? commented, “We’ve never had one car maker dominate the hot hatch category like this before, but it’s no real surprise as we’ve had so much fun testing hot Renault’s over the past twelve months. The Twingo and the Clio came close to taking the overall award, but the Mégane steals the show – it’s got the power, poise and panache a hot hatch needs, plus a dose of civility so it’s easy to use everyday. And we love those yellow seat belts!”
Receiving the award, Rémi Deconinck, Managing Director of Renault Sport Technologies said, “To win all three Hot Hatch awards from such a prestigious magazine as What Car? is a terrific honour for Renaultsport and I am delighted and proud to accept this award on behalf of the team that created the cars. Our philosophy is to provide affordable driving pleasure for all, and these awards vindicate our approach.”
Steve Marvin, Chief Vehicle Engineer for Renault Sport Technologies, said, “The overall result for the Mégane Renaultsport is a fantastic reward for the design and development team. Our intention is always to make a great driver’s car through advanced engineering and we are honoured that What Car? judge it so highly.”
The awards top a vintage year for Renaultsport. The last 12 months have seen the introduction of the pocket-rocket Twingo Renaultsport 133 Cup, Clio Renaultsport 200 and, now, the stunning Mégane Renaultsport 250, all to critical acclaim.
Renault Sport Technologies is a subsidiary of the Renault group. Its principal business areas are:
* the design, development, manufacture and sale of:
o production performance models (Twingo Renaultsport 133, Clio Renaultsport 200 and Mégane Renaultsport 250)
o competition cars for rallying: the new Twingo Renaultsport R1 and R2, Clio Renaultsport R3 Access and Maxi
o competition cars for circuit racing: Renault Formula 2.0, Renault Formula 3.5, Clio Cup and Mégane Trophy
* the organisation of international single-make championships (World Series by Renault, Clio R3 Trophies) and Renaultsport Experience activities (trackdays and factory visits).
The 2010 Renaultsport range comprises:
Twingo Renaultsport 133 – the entry-level to the passion of Renaultsport. With diminutive size and weight, the 133hp naturally-aspirated engine provides plenty of thrills. The range comprises the 133 Cup, 133 and, in April, the introduction of the Twingo Gordini Renaultsport – a fresh take on the famous design cues long associated with the Gordini name.
Clio Renaultsport 200 – the hot hatch continues to punch well above its weight in every performance car of the year test. Available in 200 Cup or 200 versions, the road car is based very closely on the highly-successful Clio Cup racer.