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.