Today’s hot hatches are somewhat a complex affair. Gone are the days when carmakers took a stock hatchback and merely added a bit of fettling to turn it into a hot version. Nowadays, a hot hatch needs 250bhp or greater and a complex all-wheel drive system or beefed up front differential to be considered hot.
No Turbos Here
The Sandero RS has other ideas though, no fancy diff’s or AWD system here, no massive power or major mods either. Just a lightly fettled engine, some handling tweaks and you’re good to go.
OK, so the Sandero RS isn’t exactly hot in terms of power or speed, 0-62mph takes a relaxing 8.5 seconds which is a lifetime in 2017 terms, think more 1990’s 0-62mph times by comparision. The top speed is nothing to shout home about either at 124mph. All of this is down to the 2.0-litre motor which produces 143bhp, no turbocharging and no trickery. This is just pure retro normally aspirated engine as it used to be back in the day.
This Sandero is a limited edition badged as the ‘Racing Spirit’ edition. Included are a set of Clio RS wheels shod in Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres which could be massive overkill for a car with such little power.
We Cannot Have It In The UK
Sadly this car will not be coming to the UK, firstly because it’s destined for Latin America only, secondly it’s clearly a Dacia-badged as a Renault which will only seek to confuse European buyers. Lastly the main reason we can’t have it, because it has a manual six-speed gearbox, as you may be aware Renault doesn’t like to give us hot hatches that we have full control over. See the Clio RS as a prime example with that flappy paddle gearbox.
So, is this a hothatch or merely a lukewarm one?