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.