BBC Autos

Renault unveils Twin'Run concept

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Well this is a bit more like it.

Instead of mucking about with arty teaser concepts, Renault's given us a proper mid-engined tribute to the R5 Turbo and Clio V6. OK, so it's still just a concept, and ultimately it only serves to preview what the next Twingo will look like, but lordy it's cool. And it's an actual, proper racer.

Called the Twin'Run, it was bolted together by Tork Engineering and Poclain Vehicules (a French motorsport chassis tuner), and features a spaceframe with composite bodywork on top, and a Megane Trophy V6 in the middle. As in an actual 3.5-litre, 320hp engine from the manufacturer's one-make racing series.

Renault assures us it'll lay down the power, too. The engine's attached to a twin-clutch SADEV six-speed sequential ‘box and limited-slip differential. There's also double-wishbone suspension with independent pivots on the front and rear axles, Ohlins spring shock absorbers and chubby 22mm front/25mm rear anti-roll bars.

There's some snazzy aero on board as well, with a vent channelling the air flow under the car. On top of that, as is mandatory, there's a ruddy great big spoiler. Cooling intakes also sit just in front of the rear wheel, and some giant extractors replace the rear passenger window glass.

While we're on the subject, the rest of the cooling system is also pretty swish. A bunch of the pipework's been fabricated in polished aluminum, and by setting it in the cabin floor, Renault's made a feature of them.

So, how does it drive? We'd imagine pretty well – there's 43/57 weight distribution, it gets from 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds, it's made from lightweight carbon panels (though we've not been told exactly how much it weighs) and it's rear-wheel drive with its engine in the middle. Rally champion Jean Ragnotti (he who won the Tour de Corse in a Renault 5 Turbo Group B rally car) helped tweak the chassis, and says: "Following this first drive, I'd say that this is a sound car with a strong pedigree. It's easy to control. You can feel straight away that it's a sports car. In terms of balance and ride, it brings the R5 Turbo to mind to some extent.

"The gearbox is smooth and you've got powerful brakes. Excellent traction with a responsive engine delivering full power at all revs, rounder and with more torque than the R5 Turbo, making it particularly efficient and easy to drive, unlike the R5, which required more technique. It's definitely an efficient car with surprisingly good vertical comfort, including in zones of high compression where we're still a long way from the travel stops. All we need to sharpen our attacking edge a bit more are racing tIres. There's a slight roll but no understeer. A gradual performance, no surprises, taking corners easily. This concept car is a worthy heir to the Maxi 5 Turbo."

This story originally appeared on TopGear.com.