The Renault 5-inspired successor to the Twingo will be positioned as an innovative, premium city car and is likely to adopt a rear-engined, rear-drive layout.
The Twingo follow-up is due to arrive in 2014. It will be part of an ambitious roll-out of new and refreshed Renault models over the next five years as the car maker attempts to bolster sales. The strategy also includes a Nissan Juke-style crossover, a new large saloon and at least one vehicle inspired by the striking R-Space concept first shown in 2011.
The new model is the first fruit of Renault’s platform and drivetrain co-operation with Daimler. A key element of that tie-up, when it was announced in 2010, was Project Edison, an initiative to create a modular platform to underpin the next Smart Fortwo and — in lengthened format — the Forfour and Twingo.
That platform is based on a rear engine/rear-wheel drive layout, and it seems highly likely that the Twingo successor will be a sister car to the Forfour, sharing that car’s rear-drive set-up.
That’s borne out by comments made by Renault marketing boss Stephen Norman at the Geneva show earlier this month. Although he stopped short of confirming the rear-drive plan for the Twingo successor, he did say it would feature a “totally unexpected mechanical innovation”.
Renault is keen to set its new car apart from the crowd, and Norman said the car will “have impressive spaciousness for its size”. With the next Clio due to be offered as a five-door only, the Twingo successor is likely to be a three-door only. An all-electric version is likely, too.
While the ‘5’ and ‘Twingo’ names are still being considered for the new model, it seems more likely that it will adopt a new name. Although the new offering will be inspired by the philosophy behind the Renault 5, the manufacturer wants to position it as a thoroughly modern vehicle.
“This is not going to be a retro car like the Fiat 500 or BMW Mini,” said Norman. “The Renault 5 issue is a philosophical checkpoint [in that] the positioning will be similar to the 5 when we launched that in 1972: slightly hedonistic, with some form of snob appeal. We won’t pitch this new car against the Citroën C1, Peugeot 107 and Toyota Aygo.”
With the new car sitting below the Clio in a revised model line-up, the Twingo name could then be attached to a two-seat, rear-drive sister car to the Smart Fortwo.