Over twenty years ago the Gordini name disappeared from the motoring scene after a couple of decades of being associated with tuned Renaults, in much the same way Abarth was known as a tuner of Fiats. The company was started in 1950 by Amédée Gordini, when they started competing in Formula One. It was in the 60’s that Gordini started working with Renault to tune their engines and make sporting versions of their road cars, such as the 1964 Renault 8 Gordini. Eventually Gordini sold the company to Renault, who continued to produce cars bearing the name until 1982 and the release of the Renault 5 Gordini.
Now Renault are going to resurrect the brand. The trademark French Blue paintwork and white stripes will adorn a series of extreme hatchbacks, and there’s even the possibility of a Gordini formula for club motorsport.
The only problem is that they already have a successful range of hot hatches in the form of Renaultsport, so there’s potential here for a bit of infighting in the Renault ranks. According to Top Gear both brands will be sold alongside each other, but when pressed to explain the differences between the two brands Stephen Norman, Renault’s Marketing VP, gave away very little, simply saying “Well, Renaultsports will be yellow, while Gordinis will be blue.”
Hopefully this is more than just a marketing exercise that spell’s the eventual end of the Renaultsport brand, as they’ve been producing some cracking cars for the last decade. If the Gordini brand really is going to be more extreme than Renaultsport then it could bring some very interesting cars our way – we’ll find out in 2010 when the Gordini Twingo should go on sale, followed soon after by a Clio and Megane.
Source: Top Gear, Car