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Renault Sandero RS: Does It Drag Race?

The Sandero is loosely based on the Clio 2 platform, so the RS version is like a modern version of the Clio 172. Why? Because it's got a 2-liter engine.
Renault Sandero RS: Does It Drag Race? 1 photo
In this era of powerful but small turbos, the Sandero RS is an honest slice of bacon, an old-fashioned movie with politically incorrect jokes. It would never pass the emissions regulations of the EU, so we have no idea who this story is for.

But we just wanted to see how a lag-free four-cylinder Renault hot hatch copes with what's out there. So we got a cross-section of the drag races that are out there for you to enjoy.

But first, let's talk about our champion. Under the hood of the sports Sandero is an engine you might also find in the Duster. It makes just 150 HP and 205 Nm of torque. The Swift Sport gets about as much from a 1.4-liter, so it's not a lot. According to the official numbers, the least potent car currently wearing the RS badge gets to 100 km/h in a somewhat leisurely eight seconds and tops out at 205 km/h (125 mph).

There are other upgrades too, like lowered suspension, 17-inch wheels with 205/45 R17 Michelin tires and bigger brakes. The body kit doesn't make the Sandero much faster, but we love a good set of stickers as much as the next guy.

Our first featured race is between the Renault and a Lancer. It looks like the Ralliart, but the fact that it loses the race tells us the wing and bumpers are add-ons.

The RS also wins against a Civic Si, which is odd. Maybe the Honda engine has lost some of its horses because it's supposed to have a 150 HP car beaten thoroughly.

Want something a bit weirder? Then check out the VW Up!. After they launched the 1.0 TSI versions, the South Americans had one tuned to deliver the same 150 HP as the Sandero RS.

On a drag strip near Buenos Aires, the Renault goes up against a SEAT Leon hatchback. It loses, but both manage quarter-mile times in the 16s.

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