Renault bosses make bold claims for the new rear-engined, rear-drive Twingo city car, due late next year
Matt Burt
11 June 2013

Renault says it has been able to “reinvent the small car” due to the technical packaging of the next-generation Renault Twingo city car, which is set to use a rear-engined, rear-drive set-up that maximises interior space.

Renault’s chief operating officer, Carlos Tavares, said the Twingo, which is due at the end of next year, will be “compact, quite muscular and very agile, with a good ratio of roominess versus outside dimensions”.

The new Twingo is the product of a platform-sharing project between Daimler and Renault that will also spawn a new Smart Fortwo and Forfour.

“We were lucky that we were starting again with a blank sheet of paper, thanks to our alliance with Daimler,” said Renault design chief Laurens van den Acker. “We started with a new platform and that gave us the opportunity to reinvent the small car. 

“I hope we can show it is the best way to go. If the engine is in the rear, you can shift the instrument panel forward so you can have a relatively large cabin for a very short length.

“Boot space is reduced, but you can compensate by coming up with clever functionality in the rest of the interior.”

As well as taking styling inspiration from the rear-drive, V6-engined Twin’Run concept revealed at the Monaco Grand Prix, the new Twingo will be informed by the electric Twin’Z design that appeared in April. 

Van den Acker said two concepts were made to emphasise that the next Twingo will be a car with broad appeal. “If we’d just done Twin’Run, people would say, ‘This is for car enthusiasts’ and we’d make the focus very narrow,” he said. “By doing two concepts, we showed that you can do a lot with this.”

The track-focused Twin’Run was partly inspired by the Renault 5 Turbo, and features a large glasshouse that dominates the rear hatch.

“The rear glass shape is iconic and saves us weight,” said van den Acker. “It is lighter than a hatchback with a steel section. On top of that, for a city car to create good visibility makes really good sense.”

But the new Twingo won’t feature retro design cues to the same degree as the Fiat 500. Neither will it seek to reinvent the first Twingo’s ground-breaking ‘monospace’ design, which combined compact dimensions with interior space.

“The monospace silhouette is hard to achieve now due to pedestrian safety demands,” said van den Acker. “So we had to go with a little nose, which you can see on the Twin’Run.”

Our Verdict

Renault Twingo 2008-2013

The Renault Twingo is fun, versatile and only slightly flawed. It’s a great effort

Join the debate



11 June 2013

Rear engine? Congrats to Renault for being brave with the format. A whole new generation of "wannabee 911" drivers await.

11 June 2013

Nah, more like original Fiat 500. Hardly original, but welcome all the same; the Twingo sounds exciting.

11 June 2013

kraftwerk wrote:

Nah, more like original Fiat 500. Hardly original, but welcome all the same; the Twingo sounds exciting.

The FIAT 126 bis from 1989 had 2 boots and the 704cc engine at the rear partly under the rear seat. The boot in the rear was bigger then that in the Toyota Aygo / CITROEN C1, you could remove the rear parcel shelf for bigger items and even fold the rear seat back down flat to carry even larger objects and the small boot at the front where the battery, fuse box and spare wheel was kept was added bonus. The FIAT 126 bis was way ahead of its time in the city car game and i'm suprised FIAT have not tried to recreate the format again.


11 June 2013

Well if Renault can't do a monospace design due to pedestrian regs, will be interesting to see how Smart manage to do a new ForTwo.  I'm sceptical that is the reason.

11 June 2013

Really looking forward to seeing the outcome from Renault and Smart with this tie up.

Small boot won't be an issue in a city car. The boot on Aygo/C1/!07 and the up!/Mii/Citigo are all miniscule. The boot on my smart fortwo is huge in comparision. I'm sure that it won't hold the cars back.  

11 June 2013

Nicer looking than the new Clio?, big thumb's up from me!

Peter Cavellini.

11 June 2013

If the engine is going to be at the back, does this mean that the front will be the boot? ...

Given the stranglehold that "EC legislation" puts on car design nowadays, don't expect the next-gen Twingo to look anything like the CGI above (sadly) ...

11 June 2013

EC legislation is there for a reason. Some of us would rather have safer cars on our roads rather than better looking ones. Many manufacturers do a great job in creating great looking cars whilst meeting the regulations. If manufacturers are unable to, maybe they should just give up?


11 June 2013

I hope that it won't be too high and a more efficient and enjoyable handling than the Smart.


11 June 2013

So, Renault have been brave where VW bottled it with the Up! (by moving the engine from back to front for production). I always said that making the Up! front engined was a dumb move and stopped VW from being more revolutionary with the packaging. The concept was clever, the production Up! merely conventional. So well done Renault!


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