Renault Sandero RS Racing Spirit Edition Kicks It Old-School

Call us old fashioned, but there’s something we still love about old-school, naturally aspirated hot hatches.

They’re deliciously analog in comparison to today’s digital pocket rockets with their turbochargers and flappy-paddle gearboxes. But who’s still making them the old way?

Renault is, that’s who. Sure, the latest performance versions of the Clio and Megane are all forcibly induced, with more doors and clutches than are strictly necessary. But down in Argentina, it still offers one for the ages.

It’s the Sandero RS 2.0, a model which is sold (sans the Renault Sport treatment) in other markets as a Dacia. Now introduced at the Buenos Aires Motor Show as the Racing Spirit edition, it packs 17-inch alloys, Michelin PS4 tires, red brake calipers, and other heart-rate-quickening touches both inside and out.

The Sandero RS is powered by a 2.0-liter atmospheric four-cylinder engine that produces all of 145 horsepower, channeled to the front wheels through a close-ratio six-speed manual transmission. With such little muscle, it won’t set any Nurburgring lap records. In fact it’ll take 8.5 seconds to reach 62 mph and top out at just 124. But the Renault Sandero RS is about more than outright performance – it’s about the driving experience, and we wish we didn’t have to go all the way to South America to drive one.

Photo Gallery


  • Wayne Alan Carr Heyes

    shame this doesn’t come to the UK

  • Dennis James

    Selling inefficient, heavy gas guzzler engines to poor countries is just a lack of respect. The same power figures could have been obtained from a 1.2 liter turbo engine with less weight and much better fuel consumption. And probably the same costs too.

    • caruser

      I got your point, but I would like to disagree. In south american countries you need engines that can handle low octane fuel. Additionally the (by the way lovely) people there haven’t got the cash or the possibility for taking care of the car’s service intervals – at least not all of them. Therefore it would not be clever using turbo engines. An approved good old 2 liter engine is the best choice for tbe purpose.

    • Emea Ito

      a 1.2 liter turbo with the same power will have almost the same fuel consumption. this downsizing and forced induction engines trend, that ‘consumes waaay less’ it’s just a mirage. it’s all a marketing exercise. think about stoichiometric ratio. 14 parts air for 1 part fuel. more forced air in, more fuel injected. otherwise will detonate and blow the engine.
      who thinks at fuel consumption in such a car anyway. in a ‘sporty’ car you think at performance and driving experience. a 2L is even batter in this car. think about the opportunity of supercharging this engine and it already sounds batter, if you’re looking for raw performance. I still prefer the old 2L n/a from clio rs with variable valve timing & all the goodies, instead of turbocharged 1.6 from the new clio rs.

      • Dennis James

        A turbo 1.2 will have the same consumption as the N/A 2.0 only when used at full power. In normal day to day usage it will be much more economical. And you would be nuts to spend thousands of dollars supercharging an unreliable Renault engine when you can spend 250 dollars on a software tune for a turbo engine.

      • Vassilis

        You’re not talking out of personal experience, do you? My 2.0 litre turbocharged engine which produces 280hp consumes 8.5 ltr/100 km with mixed driving and climate control on. Also, because some fast cars are daily drives as well and because we have to pay for fuel it’s nice if they consume as little as possible. When you go for a spirited drive you’re comfortable with the idea you’ll burn some fuel. When you go for a relaxed drive or for a road trip, fuel economy is more than welcome.

        By the way, the old Clio RS’ 2.0 litre was a sweet engine, full of character, but with modern standards it’s just too weak.

  • Julien Lachemoi

    I would never want to own or even drive a Dacia but this I wouldn’t mind giving it a good run.

  • Ludmil Kushinov

    Let`s say just that mine Alfa 145 is 25 years old and have same specs, why to push for Dacia? Alfa is even looking better 🙂

    • Christian

      Only that its an old car by now…

      • Ludmil Kushinov

        And still smokes a lot of new “hot hatches” on traffic lights 🙂 A lot of people impressed and surprised, by this old car 🙂

  • Guilherme Silva

    Fellas, this car will be shown in Buenos Aires Auto Show, but was already launched in Brazil last week.

“Need For Speed” Mustang Camera Car Could Be Your Next Whip

Based on a 2013 GT, this rigged Mustang was tuned by Roush and goes for $35k .

Australian Dust Storm Turns Day To Night In Mere Seconds

You could be excused for thinking driving in a dust storm is like venturing into a black hole.

GM’s Robo-Taxi Ride-Sharing Plans Hit A Hurdle

General Motors wants to roll out up to 2500 autonomous taxis, likely based in San Francisco.

2019 Honda Civic Sedan Is A Well-Sorted Package

The revised Honda Civic Sedan might actually be the best choice in the compact segment.

Drake Owns The Only Mercedes-Maybach G650 Landaulet In North America

The Mercedes-Maybach G650 Landaulet is thought to sell for upwards of $1 million new.

Drool Over Ex-Little Tony Gorgeous Lamborghini Miura P400 S

Restored by Polo Storico, it can be seen at the 2019 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este.

Fuel Cell Car Prices Will Match Hybrids Within A Decade, Says Toyota

The main reason will be the greatly reduced of platinum, which will be equal to that of a catalytic converter.

I Pity The Fool… Who Thought Opel’s Zafira Would Make A Good A-Team Van

Diesel, front-wheel drive and neon yellow? BA Baracus would throw a fit.

2020 BMW M8 Competition Does A Strip Tease In South Africa

The M8 Competition should debut later this year with a twin-turbo V8 producing at least 617 hp.

Apple Reportedly Bid To Buy Tesla Back In 2013

Apple reportedly made a bid for Tesla at roughly $240 a share, more than the company is currently worth.