The legendary Gordini name, with the performance that the badge promised, has been missing in action lately after wowing motoring enthusiasts over many decades

The blue, the stripes and radiator grille with four round headlights were the visual elements that shouted a guarantee of special sporting fun.

And now Renault has acted to resurrect Gordini character and performance to a couple of current models - the Twingo Gordini RS, and the Clio Gordini RS.

The new Gordini-labelled versions will supplement the Renault Sport range and, the manufacturer believes, wow a whole new generation of sporty drivers.

Renault Australia has indicated that the Clio RS range for 2010 may include a more animated Gordini version should it become available globally.

Gordini, of course, draws its name and reputation from the legendary Amédée Gordini, who developed almost 200,000 Renault vehicles over a 20-year period, along the way posting some great sporting achievements.

The golden era for Gordini came in the 1960s when rear-engined R8 Gordinis were wildly successful in international rallying.

R8 Gordinis were also hits with enthusiasts in road racing via the one-make Gordini Cup.

The R8 Gordini starred in other ways too, on film, featuring in many French films of the day.

Before that Dauphine Gordinis were also big on the rally scene, winning the '58 Monte Carlo.

The Renault 5 Gordini (known as the Alpine in Continental Europe, was one of the pioneering hot hatches, beating the Golf GTi to market by a year. The car's 1397cc engine produced 93bhp, more than double the power of the standard 5. In an era of swift development, the Gordini was quickly outgunned by its growing number of rivals so Renault's solution to this problem was forced induction. Bolting on a single Garrett T3 turbocharger put the R5 Gordini right back into the power race.