Renault's Sandero Hot Hatch Announced

Renault's Sandero Hot Hatch Announced
Renault's Sandero Hot Hatch Announced

Renault's Sandero, soon to be launched in Iran, gets racy Renaultsport upgrades at an Argentinean automotive show in Buenos Aires.

Renault has finally pulled the wraps off its Sandero RS hot hatch. The budget supermini gets racy styling additions inside and out, a sportier chassis and 145bhp.

It has been fettled by Renaultsport, the performance kings behind the Nürburgring-busting Megane 275 Trophy R. But there's bad news for Iran's hot hatch fans: The Sandero RS is set to be for Russia and Brazil only. The brand has confirmed the model is a 'showcase' of what could be done but Renault has not confirmed it is coming to Iran.

Called the RS 2.0, to designate the naturally-aspirated 145 bhp 2.0-liter engine that is fitted in the Sandero supermini for the first time, it will also be the first Renaultsport model to be built outside of Europe. The standard Sandero 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-liter Sandero, it should be distinctly more rapid.

Pars Khodro and French carmaker Renault are set to produce 15,000 Sandero hatchbacks in Iran by the end of the year (March 19, 2016), CEO of Azin Khodro Reza Rezaei said.  

Renault Sandero, which will be released under the name B90 in Iran, will be produced 40% locally, Donyaye Khodro quoted him as saying. Earlier this week, Pars Khodro, partly owned by Saipa, said it had started trial production of the Renault Sandero. Pars' CEO Nasser Aqamohammadi said the Sandero will be publicly released by August.

Pars also produces other Renault branded Dacia cars in the local market under a license agreement from Renault. The company has been producing the Dacia Logan since 2006. The car is referred to in Iran as Tondar 90 or L90. According to the CEO, the L90 is currently produced 70% in-country and the number will increase to 90%.

The Sandero supermini will be the first Renault sport model to be built outside of Europe.