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There's a new Dacia Sandero RS, and it's still not for us

South America's Sandero gets a refreshed hot hatch version. Lucky them

Bad news! This is the Renault Sandero RS, and it’s not coming to Britain. The dinky hot hatch has been on sale for a few years in Brazil, and has just received a facelift in line with regular South American Sanderos.

Cars that are sold as Dacias here get Renault badges further afield, and slightly different styling too. Their latest update has seen the Sandero receive new lights and bumpers, which have now transferred across to the RS hot hatch. Squint, and it looks a tiny bit like a Megane RS at the back.

This is a hot hatch by the old definition of the term, too. By which we mean a highly strung naturally aspirated engine, a manual gearbox and scant driving aids. As opposed to a zillion horsepower turbo engine, a many-speed paddleshift transmission and a deeply complex four-wheel drive system like any credible modern fast car appears to require.

Its 2.0-litre engine comes with two different power figures, too: 143bhp if you put petrol in it, but a tyre-shredding 148bhp if you opt for ethanol. Yup, this really isn’t a car for the UK. Altogether, it’s enough for 0-62mph in eight seconds flat and a 126mph top speed. Hold onto your hats…

Mind, the price is a similarly modest figure, the Sandero RS costing the equivalent of around £14,000. Short of the much less powerful VW Up GTI, there’s no hot hatch available for that sort of money in the UK nowadays.

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