Renault returns to a rear-engined layout for the new Twingo
Renault claims the Twingo offers an impressive space package
The interior is designed to make maximum use of space
Show car reveals navigation and climate control will be among available equipment
The new Twingo will be available in five-door form only
The new Twingo is the sister car to the Smart Forfour
The new Twingo adopts a rear-engined layout for its third generation
The car features simple instrumentation
Four exterior colours will be offered, with interior trims to match
The colour schemes are a homage to those originally offered for the Mk1 Twingo
Renault has taken design cues from the classic R5 for the new Twingo, particularly at the rear
The new Twingo has styling inspired by the Twin'Z concept
A new Twingo will allow Renault to compete with the likes of the Fiat 500 and Mini
The four-door Twingo has seating for five inside
Renault cites a number of storage spaces around the cabin
R&Go allows drivers to integrate their smartphone with the car
The new Twingo adopts Renault's family front end, with a larger front grille and more prominent headlights
The Twingo is claimed to be capable of carrying 2.2m-long loads
The new Twingo has been revealed at the Geneva motor show
The new Twingo is 100mm shorter than today's model
The new Twingo features design elements inspired by the 1992 original
A new range of rear-mounted engines will power the Twingo
A new range of three-cylinder engines will power the Twingo
Renault will offer the Twingo with a five-speed manual gearbox
The new Twingo will go on sale following its debut in Geneva
The new Renault Twingo aims to recapture the spirit of the Renault 5, according to company boss Michael van der Sande.
He revealed that the Twingo will be the latest step in the rebirth of Renault's range. The firm is "working through [the] range, looking for model opportunities – that will include big cars," said van der Sande. The new Twingo made its debut at the Geneva motor show today.
The French firm is looking to tear up the traditional city car blueprint with its new car – the Twingo takes on a new five-seat, four-door, rear-engined and rear-wheel-drive layout. That formula has not been seen in mainstream European car design since the Hillman Imp went out of production in 1976.
No pricing has been annouced, but Renault says it will be priced competitively in the A-segment. The new car will go on sale in the UK in September in a range of four colours: red, white, yellow and blue.
The production car is a very compact five-door machine, whose styling stands out from the Clio supermini. With rear-wheel drive and uncorrupted, notably quick steering, the Twingo could easily challenge the bigger and more expensive Mk3 Mini as the best-handling small car.
The new Twingo shares its all-new platform with the upcoming Smart family. A shortened version is being used for the new Smart ForTwo, and the Twingo has the same underpinnings as the new Smart ForFour.
The Twingo uses a pair of newly developed three-cylinder engines. The first is a modified version of the existing 898cc TCe 90 unit developing 89bhp and 100lb ft, which is canted over at 49 degrees to maximise interior space. The second engine is a unit of the same capacity producing 69bhp and 67lb ft. Both will be mated to a five-speed manual gearbox at launch.
Last year, Renault chief designer Laurens van den Acker told Autocar that the new Twingo’s styling was not part of the new family look established by the latest Clio and Captur crossover. He said: “Small cars can be hard to design. The new Twingo is related to our other cars, but it is not a reproduction. It is somewhat iconic.”
Van den Acker also said that the new Twingo’s shape was inspired not just by the ground-breaking original 1992 model, but also by the classic Renault 5, one of the definitive European hatchbacks. Van den Acker said that the new Twingo is 100mm shorter than today’s model, making it 3.5m long. Despite this, cabin length grows by 130mm.
“Moving the action [drivetrain] to the back gives fantastic advantages,” he added. “It increases interior space and wheelbase and shortens the overhangs.”
The boot floor is flat and can carry loads of up to 2.2m in length. Renault says it is the only car in its class capable of "carrying a Swedish book shelf".
“That means 80 per cent of the car can go to passengers. You get a lot of extra agility and, thanks to rear-wheel drive, you can achieve a turning circle like a London taxi,” said van den Acker. Renault claims the new Twingo can turn within a 8.65m radius.
The new Twingo and five-door Smart models will share all-new transmissions and be built in the same factory in Nova Mesto, Slovenia. Smart will continue to produce a two-seat city car based on a shortened version of this platform at Hambach, France.
Renault said that work on the replacement Twingo began in 2008 and explored the rear-engined format as the basis for a new city car.
The company said, “The aim was to create an even roomier and more agile city car, despite its smaller footprint. Combined with the use of a smaller block and the positioning of the wheels at the car’s extreme corners, the rear-mounted engine also frees up extra cabin space, while New Twingo also boasts the sort of wheelbase and roomy interior more generally associated with models in the next segment up.”
Renault has a history with this layout, notably with the Dauphine and Renault 8.