The original Twingo’s origins are a matter of debate. The car bears a striking resemblance to a prototype built by Polish manufacturer FSM for a project with which Renault was also involved.
The car was called the Beskid and the story goes that FSM never extended its patent. The Renault Twingo emerged on the market shortly after it expired.
The biggest gain for the Twingo earned from its move to a rear-mounted engine, we’re told, is packaging – and good packaging is critical at this end of the market.
All three of the Volkswagen Group’s Slovakian-built sister models and the Citroën-Peugeot-Toyota triplets – five-door five-seaters all – require 100mm less space at the kerb. On the spec sheet, the Volkswagen Up also trumps the Renault on boot space, as does the i10. So there’s reason to be a touch suspicious about Renault’s claims that this car is packaging marvel.
The rear-mounted motor does bring other benefits. The entry-level 999cc naturally aspirated three-cylinder SCe petrol engine is mounted transversely, inclined by 49deg and reconfigured for compactness. It produces 69bhp and 67lb ft and drives the rear wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox. This version, called the SCe 70, is also available with a stop/start system – a variant dubbed the SCe 70 Stop & Start.