Rear engine for the Twingo

The new Renault Twingo
Two decades after it revolutionised the small car segment with the first-generation Twingo, Renault has taken a fresh look at its celebrated city car.

Two decades after it revolutionised the small car segment with the first-generation Twingo, Renault has taken a fresh look at its celebrated city car.

Last week Renault take the wraps off new Twingo. It still has that x-factor appeal.

In 2008, Renault set out to create the next-generation Twingo with the aim of rekindling the innovative spirit that was such a hallmark of the original released in 1992.

The aim was to create an even roomier and more agile city car, despite its smaller footprint. This is how the idea of switching to a rear-mounted engine took form.

Renault’s thoughts found an echo in those of Daimler which, at the same time, was exploring ideas for the next-generation two-and four-seat versions of the Smart. After early talks, a strategic cooperation agreement was concluded by the two firms in 2010, marking the official green light for the joint-development of new Twingo and the next versions of the two-and four-seat Smart.

Positioning the engine at the rear is a significant plus for a small city car. It frees up the front end and considerably improves the turning circle. New Twingo is surprisingly manoeuvrable in built-up areas and parking calls for only a few turns of the steering wheel.

The rear-mounted engine also frees up extra cabin space. New Twingo also boasts the sort of wheelbase and roomy interior more generally associated with models in the next segment up.

Agile handling

Thanks to its pleasantly agile handling, spacious cabin and small front end, new Twingo delivers all the fundamentals that made the initial Twingo such a hit at the 1992 Paris Motor Show.

Like its forebear, New Twingo comes in a choice of four vibrant ‘pop’ colours (light blue, white, yellow and red), an unmistakable sign that the Twingo spirit is well and truly back!

Other cues are heavily inspired by the Renault 5, including the rake of new Twingo’s rear screen and its prominent shoulders which are redolent of the rear-engined Renault 5 turbo that proved so popular.

The front end features a prominent Renault logo set to a black background. New Twingo’s expressive gaze is reinforced by its big head lights, which are topped by the direction indicators, as well as LED daytime running lights which combine a hi-tech feel with an echo of the model’s predecessors.

The originality of new Twingo’s wide glass hatch makes an important contribution to the modernity its rear-end styling, while the rear lights are a natural prolongation of the tailgate.

The car’s 5-door architecture – a firstfor the model – makes it even more versatile. New Twingo carries some elements of the new Clio, including a sleek profile, concealed rear door handles and plenty of scope for personalisation. The four body colours and customisation options mean that new Twingo can take on a host of stances, from urban to sporty, feminine and masculine.