The FRENCH RACER
The Saxo appeared in '96 with the tried and tested TU line of petrol engines. From far away the sporty Cup/VTS doesn’t look like much, with 120 bhp of power and 145 Nm of torque it wasn’t anything to shout about, but with less than a ton of steel and plastic to fling around, it definitely made the meek powerplant feel naughty. With a peaky 16v revv band and a hard-edged exhaust note, this french racer revolutionized the tuning and racing scene in Europe. Never had such performance been offered at such a low cost, it is still one of the cheapest ways to get into regional rallying. Alas, the Saxo was too much of a good thing, and by 2002 when production ended, the concept of a lightweight hot hatch started to fade. Where Cups/VTRs used to cluster at tuning meets and cruises with fibreglass bonnets, splitters and spoilers, these days, you’re only likely to see one screaming its TU5 heart out, bouncing on and off the redline, down a forrest rally stage. Right now, there are three times more Lamborghini Aventadors registered in the UK than Saxo VTRs, it makes you think. Don’t forget to smile the next time you see one.
Designed in Portugal