Outsider’s Perspective: Amusing News! Cheap Performance is here.

NovoSanderoS1abre (Copy)
With all its twists, turns and outdated models passing up as viable products, the one way you can describe the Latin American market is “baffling” and it’s about to get even more baffling for all of you watching from USDM island. As Dacia has decided to launch a special RS high-performance version of the Sandero.

Yes, apparently bringing the lovely rear-engined Renault Twingo and its eventual hot version would be too much of a problem? Are they afraid that we’ll think they’re ripping Volkswagen off? Or that the TCe engine will simply catch on fire in the tropical heat? Valid concerns perhaps but I fear that the real reason that they’re not bringing the little bundle of fun here is that after Brazil (which would likely be its biggest market) have its way with it it’ll be so expensive that nobody in their right mind would buy it. A bit like the Scion iQ. And tooling a line in the São José dos Pinhais to make it alongside the Sandero, Logan and Duster would cause similar results. When questioned about it, Renault said that it was just not an ideal car for Brazil, saying that Brazilians “Prefer a bigger, more robust vehicle with a bigger trunk.”
vngcfg152b1ov369 (Copy)
Somehow I believe this was said because you had to say something to justify it. However they gave us another vehicle that’s rather more interesting. The Dacia Sandero, intended to be a simple, no-frills, affordable at all costs hatchback is getting the RS treatment. Granted a Sandero RS 275 Trophy would indeed be amazing but I fear that the target market for that is nonexistent. No, moving as it may be, a more subtle approach should be better for its intended audience. I should also perhaps point out that we really don’t get the Megane RS 275, or indeed any Megane. Nor do we get the Twingo or the Latitude. Laguna? Forget about it. Then there’s the Clio.
novo-renault-clio-2016-4 (Copy)
At least the Chevrolet Classic is somewhat honest about the fact that it is definitely not the freshest grape in the vine. With the Clio however, Renault has decided that because costs are a problem and they’re still doing very well (Brazil is Renault’s second biggest market) the Clio II is good enough for the needs of the developing markets. With the occasional facelift. By this stage of the game the poor hatchback has had so many facelifts even Pamela Anderson would tell it to take it easy. And being quite old it doesn’t carry those facelifts well. It’s a bleak Dacia-ified wasteland what Renault’s lineup in Latin America is and anything made to make a little bit more exciting is more than welcome.
The 15-second teaser launched by Renault doesn’t say much about the vehicle itself. It doesn’t say ANYTHING about it really, except the fact that it has wheels, LED driving lights and that you can load it into a truck (maybe, if it is a particularly wide truck). It’s rumored that it’ll have the 2.0-liter 16 valve of the Duster producing at least 138 horsepower and channeling it through a six-speed manual. The comments section in a lot of Latin American sites are already up in arms about the poor things even though it was supposed to be released in October at the Buenos Aires auto show. Most of the criticism isn’t to the car itself, although it’s already being called a half-hearted attempt at a hot hatch. But most of it is because it has brought attention to the sins of the parent(company). “Why did they never brought the Clio III?” “Why don’t we get proper Renaults instead of old disguised as new?” some of them are even still angry at the fact that many aeons ago Renault only imported the 19 in poverty spec without a passenger sun-visor. Although to be fair, I’d be very pissed off about that if I had bought a 19.
renault-twingo-rs-002 (Copy)
I really hope that the Sandero RS is actually quite good and successful so that Renault can see that there are other markets than “Bargain basement”. Maybe that way I could get my Twingo without having to plead with a dealer or having to import one myself. Would you buy a Sandero RS?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 64 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here

  1. fede Avatar

    does brazil get the clio iv? in uruguay we do get it, but renault thinks we still need the clio mio. sadly, they seems to be right because people still buy the sad old things (a loaded clio mio is 18.690 USD, a base clio iv is 23.490 USD)
    if they manage to keep selling the clio mio now that we finally got the vw up and it is about 1000-2000 USD cheaper, I want renault to tell me how are they hypnotizing people.

  2. crank_case Avatar

    A Sandero RS could be actually pretty cool, considering the Sandero is mechanically close to the old Clio II (I think), which is apparently more a lot fun in RS guise than the new Renaultsport clio, which has gone all grown up. All they need to do is stick in a Clio 182 Front clip/engine/suspension and you’d have a properly mad old school hot hatch.