145bhp Dacia Sandero RS hot hatch unveiled in Argentina

Dacia's Sandero (badged Renault in Brazil) gets racy Renaultsport upgrades at Argentinian show, but is unlikely to ever make it to the UK

Following on from a teaser video, Renault has finally pulled the wraps off its (non-Dacia badged) Sandero RS hot hatch at the Buenos Aires motor show. The budget supermini gets racy styling additions inside and out, a sportier chassis and 145bhp.

It's been fettled by Renaultsport, the performance kings behind the Nürburgring-busting Megane 275 Trophy R. But there's bad news for hot hatch fans: the Sandero RS is set to be an emerging market car only for Russia and Brazil, where it will be badged purely as a Renault. The brand has confirmed the model is a 'showcase' of what could be done over here under the Dacia brand but nothing more.

Called the RS 2.0, to designate the naturally-aspirated 145bhp 2.0-litre engine that is fitted in the Sandero supermini for the first time, it'll also be the first Renaultsport model to be built outside of Europe. It's unlikely to reach any European market in any form, where the Sandero is firmly a no-frills budget car and nothing more.

The standard Sandero body gets a more aggressive bodykit, with a new front bumper and larger air intakes, beefier side skirts and bigger alloy wheels. It also gets a diffuser-look rear bumper and twin exhausts to mark it out from the base car.

Inside, there are unique seats with sportier trim, red and silver cabin accents and alloy pedals. Beefier brakes, a revised steering system and firmer springs and dampers complete the transformation from budget to fun. No performance figures have been released yet, but considering it has nearly double the power of the basic 1.2-litre Sandero it should be distinctly more rapid.

Cheapest cars to run

For UK buyers after cheap, fast Renault thrills, you’ll be waiting until later in 2015, when it’s understood a GT version of the new rear-engined, rear-drive Twingo city car will be launched. Set to feature a tuned variant of the standard car’s 0.9-litre turbo three-cylinder good for at least 120bhp, the 2016 Twingo GT should cost in the region of £15,000.

Do you think a hot Sandero is a good idea? Would you buy one if it came to the UK? Tell us in the comments section below...

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