At this point, we thought the formula for small, inexpensive hatchbacks was pretty much dialed in: transverse engine, front-wheel drive. Then along comes Renault with its cheeky new Twingo, just to throw a curveball into the mix. Sporting a rear-mounted engine and rear-wheel drive, the Twingo is something of a (very) poor man’s Porsche 911, and it’s got us excited.
Power is provided by either a naturally aspirated, 70-horsepower, 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine or a turbocharged 900cc triple with 90 horsepower and 100 lb-ft, the latter of which sounds like quite a lot of fun in a lightweight small car. We’re eager to check out what sort of dynamic wins this layout yields – we know it’s going to be nimble, with a turning circle of just 8.65 metres (28.4 feet), a full metre less than rivals. Of course, the rear-engined, rear-wheel drive thing hasn’t always produced sterling drive experiences – the Smart ForFour speaks loudly to this. In fact it’s no coincidence that the Twingo shares this driveline configuration with Smart – the chassis was codeveloped with Daimler alongside the next-generation ForFour.
The Twingo’s interior is best described as cheap and cheerful, with some neat features like a flat-bottomed wheel, contrasting trim and TomTom navigation. Despite being shorter overall than the last-generation model, this Twingo is actually roomier inside. We’ve had a chance to look at the cargo hold, and its load floor is modestly higher than you might find in a more conventional hatchback, but it’s a pretty remarkable feat of packaging – if someone didn’t tell you there was an engine back there, you wouldn’t suspect it. In fact, Renault boasts, “It is the only city car capable of carrying a boxed Swedish bookshelf.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 6,195 WORDS
TUESDAY 4TH MARCH 2014
RENAULT AT THE GENEVA MOTOR SHOW 2014 (UK version)
RENAULT REINVENTS TWINGO – THINKING BIG WHEN IT COMES TO ITS SMALL CARS
NUMBER ONE FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLE SALES IN EUROPE
RENAULT RISES TO THE CHALLENGE OF ENERGY EFFICIENCY IN 2014
Renault has taken a fresh, bold look at Twingo. Twenty years after the introduction of the original, Renault is proud to take the wraps off the third generation of its small city car which has undergone an in-depth transformation. In addition to its cheerful expression, New Twingo is available in a choice of four body colours and is packed with innovations. Extensive personalisation opportunities are naturally part of the programme.
Thanks to the positioning of the engine at the rear:
New Twingo is agile and boasts a turning circle of 8.65m, which is an average one metre less than that of its direct rivals.
New Twingo is particularly roomy thanks to the 13cm that have added to its cabin length, even though the newcomer’s overall length has been shortened by 10cm.
New Twingo is practical, thanks to its five-door architecture, clever stowage solutions, totally flat floor and a surprisingly long maximum load length of 2.20m. It is the only city car capable of carrying a boxed Swedish book shelf…
New Twingo’s best-in-class forward vertical field of view and high-up driving position are particularly appreciable when driving in built-up areas.
The boot conceals either a normally-aspirated or a turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine. Both powerplants are fuel efficient and deliver punchy performance.
New Twingo is connected and is the only city car to offer a choice of two multimedia systems: the R & GO radio (in conjunction with a smartphone) and R-Link Evolution®.
Inspired by the legacies of the innovative Renault 5 Turbo and the original Twingo, New Twingo good humouredly illustrates Renault’s small car expertise.
In addition to the unveiling of New Twingo, Renault has chosen the 2014 Geneva Motor Show to present other new developments in its small car range. On display for the first time are:
Renault’s new Flexi Charger, a cable which allows ZOE owners to plug their electric vehicle into an ordinary household power socket. Renault has also introduced a new Z.E. Access battery lease plan with prices starting from £45 per month for low-mileage motorists.
The new Energy dCi 160 Twin Turbo is a showpiece of downsizing and twin turbocharging. This 1,598cc Diesel engine delivers the driving enjoyment of a two-litre powerplant, but with fuel consumption reduced by 25%. The fuel efficiency of the Energy dCi 160 Twin Turbo makes it ideal for larger vehicles. It will notably be available for the brand’s upcoming D- and E-segment models.
NEW TWINGO: FUN TO DRIVE, ULTRA-MANOEUVRABLE AND SPACIOUS
Colourful and vibrant… the Twingo spirit is back!
True to the spirit of its predecessors, not only is New Renault Twingo colourful and fun to drive, but it also combines a dynamic stance with a particularly endearing expression. The four body colours revealed at the Geneva Motor Show echo those that were available for the first-generation version, while New Twingo’s personalisation programme will also enable owners to express a wide range of personalities, from sporty or ‘vintage’, to chic or fun. Colour is everywhere inside the cabin too, even down to the numerous storage areas.
“New Renault Twingo was inspired not only by the original Twingo but also by the Renault 5. It is a modern take on the city car theme with the accent on innovation in terms of its lines and architecture. New Twingo is a fun, playful and vibrant city car. It is ultra-manoeuvrable, roomy and immensely practical. You’ll be itching to get behind the wheel and take it out for a drive.”
Laurens van den Acker, Head of Industrial Design, Renault
Playful, energetic styling
Like its forebear, New Twingo comes in a choice of four vibrant ‘pop’ colours (powder blue, white, yellow and red), an unmistakable sign that the Twingo spirit is well and truly back!
New Twingo fits with Renault’s new design strategy and represents the ‘Play’ petal of the brand’s lifecycle-based plan, building on ideas previously explored by the Twin’Z and Twin’Run concept cars which were presented in the first quarter of 2013.
New Twingo’s highly original architecture ensures exceptionally agile handling, along with a cheery expression, a unique profile thanks to its short bonnet and a roomy passenger compartment.
At the same time, it features compact proportions and measures just 3.59 metres from bumper to bumper. Yet thanks to its short front and rear overhangs and the positioning of the wheels at the car’s extreme corners, its wheelbase is 2.49 metres – a record for the class and a pointer to its spacious interior.
“New Twingo’s layout, and in particular the positioning of the engine at the rear, has resulted in original, interesting proportions. The challenge for the designers was to come up with nicely balanced forms that are perceived as compact yet suggest a roomy cabin. The very short nose and the positioning of the wheels play contribute significantly to this impression.”
Kenneth Melville, Small Car Design Director (Twingo, Clio, Captur)
New Twingo’s font end features the brand’s trademark styling cues, including a prominent Renault logo set to a black background. The new city car’s distinctive personality is emphasised by its ribbed bonnet and big headlights topped by direction indicators shaped like eyelids. New Twingo’s assertive expression is further enhanced by circular daytime running lights marked out by four points of light. A broad air inlet set into the lower portion of the bumper provides the finishing touch to New Twingo’s expressive face.
“We wanted to ensure that New Twingo was instantly recognisable, both day and night.”
Raphaël Linari, Lead Exterior Designer, Renault Twingo
The shoulder line stretches the full length of the sides, from the front indicators to the tail. This signature feature line, which is more prominent where it passes over the wheel arches, especially at the rear, plays an important part in the solid, robust feel that New Twingo exudes.
The handles for the rear doors are concealed, giving the impression of a three-door car, yet New Twingo – for the first time in the model’s history – has five doors.
Depending on version, the car’s proportions are highlighted by decal graphics which emphasise its dynamic yet robust silhouette.
Flush-fitting rear lights follow the profile of New Twingo’s shoulders and appear to form an integral part of the broad glass hatchback which characterises the rear of the car.
“We were heavily inspired by the unique legacy of the Renault 5 and the original Twingo. Thanks to their unique personalities and enchanting expressions, these two models influenced our approach to the design of our new city car which is nonetheless solidly grounded in today’s thinking.” Kenneth Melville, Small Car Design Director (Twingo, Clio, Captur)
New Twingo: roomy, practical and ultra-manoeuvrable
Thanks to the bold decision to locate the engine at the rear, New Twingo is able to offer far greater agility and a bigger cabin than would be expected from a car with an overall length of just 3.59 metres.
Agile handling is the foremost benefit of this architecture. The positioning of the engine at the rear gave the designers more freedom to work on the front end. New Twingo’s turning circle of 8.65 m helps it to turn easily in cramped spaces. Indeed, compared with its competitors, it needs a metre less space to perform a U-turn.
A commanding driving position
Ease of access, the sensation of cabin space and all-round visibility all benefit from New Twingo’s high-up driving position. Indeed, thanks to its short bonnet and large windscreen, New Twingo offers best-in-class visibility, with a forward vertical field of view of 12 degrees.
EXTRA SPACE FOR OCCUPANTS
Although New Twingo is 10cm shorter than its predecessor, the distance from the dashboard to the tailgate is 22cm longer. The shorter bonnet frees up space at the front to provide extra space for occupants.
The 2.49m wheelbase (an increase of 13cm) ensures generous cabin space both front and rear – especially when it comes to knee room, which is best in class at 13cm.
Feel the length: the only city car capable of carrying a 2.2-metre load – with an adult sat in the back!
New Twingo’s flat floor, 50/50-split folding rear seat (which houses additional stowage opportunities) and forward-tipping front passenger seat back ensure a highly modular interior which adapts easily to the user’s needs of the moment.
With the engine tucked underneath it, the boot (219 dm3) is particularly practical thanks to its rectangular floor and the fact that the wheel arches do not intrude on the available space. The flat sill is at the ideal height for loading, while the 50/50-split rear seat bench folds easily to reveal a flat boot floor of 1.35 m in length. The front passenger seat back also folds forward to enable New Twingo to carry loads of up to 2.20 metres in length. That’s 22cm longer than the outgoing Twingo and quite a feat for a car that is only 3.59 metres long!
“We had been thinking about a rear-engined architecture for some time. It takes courage and creativity on the part of the design teams to completely rethink how a car’s volumes can be used. New Twingo is particularly innovative and is notable for several attributes that are vital for a city car, namely manoeuvrability, visibility and space for passengers.”
Christian Steyer, Chief Engineer, New Twingo
INSTALLING THE ENGINE AT THE REAR: AN INNOVATION MADE POSSIBLE BY THE EXPERTISE OF RENAULT’S ENGINE SPECIALISTS
The choice of a rear-engined architecture for New Twingo brings a rich variety of benefits. The crucial step forward was finding a way to fit a modern engine into such a small space. This entailed an innovative re-think of the engine configuration so that it could be angled at 49 degrees in order to reduce its overall height and thereby free up space for a spacious boot.
New Twingo is available with two of Renault’s latest-generation engines:
The brand new SCe 70, a normally-aspirated derivative of the TCe range. The responsive performance of this 70hp and 91Nm, normally-aspirated 999cc petrol engine makes it ideal for motoring in built-up areas, especially since torque is available from very low engine speeds. Inexpensive to buy and run, this latest-generation powerplant will be available with or without Stop&Start, depending on market.
The Energy TCe 90: dynamic and fun to drive. Not only is this 898cc turbocharged petrol powerplant responsive at low engine speeds but it also delivers refined performance thanks to a power output of 90hp and peak torque of 135Nm. It was redesigned specially for New Twingo and the turbo is equipped with an electric waste gate to provide the optimal balance between performance and fuel consumption. The Energy TCe 90 engine incorporates Stop&Start as standard and complies with Euro 6 emission legislation.
A fun-loving, energising and connected interioR
“Our mission was to create a cheery cabin that was fun to be in, with a host of opportunities for personalisation – right down to the different stowage solutions. The idea was to reimagine the iconic interior of the original Twingo. The driving position is enticingly sporty and we gave it a cockpit-like feel that makes you want to climb in and take it out for a drive.”
Laurent Negroni, Interior Designer, Renault Twingo
The passenger compartment has generous glazed areas, along with a high-up driving position and a large windscreen providing a record forward visibility (vertical field of view: 12 degrees). The driving position is sporty and fun, with a dynamic feel, too, to the steering wheel and instrument hood (referencing the PLAY petal of Renault’s design strategy).
The dashboard features uncluttered forms, with all the instruments housed in a console surrounded by a broad white gloss trim. The instruments themselves include a large speedometer located in the driver’s line of sight, plus a centrally-positioned display with a surround that matches that of the instruments and available in blue, white, black or red.
The seats have integrated head restraints and employ simple graphics – coloured piping in red, blue or grey – to highlight their shape and the continuity between the cushion and the backrest.
A cheerful, colourful interiour
The interior trim plays on a contrast between black and white. The cabin is essentially black, but the instrument panel surround, steering wheel inserts, air vents and door panels are picked out in white, echoing one another to create a vibrant ambience.
New Twingo gives buyers the choice of three different themes for the seat fabric and armrests: blue, grey or red, with flecks of colour.
Also available is a sportier trim which features a black ambience combined with red highlights and mixed fabric upholstery.
Two connectivity solutions: R & GO® for use with a smartphone, or the latest generation R-Link
The R & GO® application is a free download for New Twingo owners and enables smartphones to link automatically to the vehicle’s radio. Drivers are presented with a menu of clear icons provide access to four user-friendly, intuitive functions:
1 – 3D Navigation (Copilot® Premium),
2 – Telephone (numbers, Bluetooth®, etc.),
3 – Media (internet radio, display of artist’s name and track title),
4 – Trip computer (Renault eco-driving eco2, additional information to that provided by the dashboard instruments, e-guide).
The R & GO® radio is supplied with a universal mounting to allow a smartphone to be mounted on the dashboard at eye level. The R & GO® application is compatible with the Android and iOS operating systems and also functions with a tablet.
Also available for the model is the latest version of the in-dash R-Link multimedia system: R-Link Evolution. This system features a capacitative display (giving zooming and scrolling capability) and DAB digital radio (depending on market).
A Twingo for all tastes: exterior and interior personalisations
“New Twingo’s interior features several distinct zones that are ideal for multiple personalisation permutations. New Twingo is designed to rekindle the ‘voitures à vivre’ spirit that has long been championed by the brand and which continues to underpin the work of Renault’s designers. The spirit of the original Twingo was a major inspiration for us when it came to colours and materials, and we have built on our experience with Clio and Captur to develop an ambitious personalisation programme.”
Kenneth Melville, Small Car Design Director (Twingo, Clio, Captur)
Thanks to a wide choice of colours, graphics and interior themes, New Twingo can be ordered to match the owners’ individual tastes, from sporty to ‘zen’, chic or fun, with graphics inspired by the Renault 5.
This personalisation programme enables customers to customise their New Twingo with co-ordinated exterior and interior decor elements colour-keyed to the exterior bodywork:
– Exterior decor elements: door mirror housings, grille trim, side protective mouldings.
– Interior decor elements: instrument housing surround, air vents, steering wheel inserts.
New Renault Twingo can also be personalised with 15- or 16-inch alloy wheels.
Renault’s latest city car can be ordered with a large electric fabric sunroof for al fresco motoring.
“Our intention was to rekindle the colourful, fun-loving spirit that the original Twingo brought when it was launched in 1993. At the same time, we wanted to show how the world of small Renaults has moved on.”
Nathalie Granger, Designer, Colour and Materials
Personalisable storage solutions
Thanks to an innovative concept known as Flexicase®, New Twingo can be equipped with a range of special stowage features depending on the different types of use to which it is to be put, from nets underneath the rear seat and rear door bins complete with bag hooks, to a console between the front seats and a removable bin at the bottom of the centre console. Together, these solutions provide an additional storage capacity of 52 litres.
Renault’s small-car success story continues…..
Renault’s secret when creating great small cars has always been to have the courage to deliver in-depth innovations, versatility and appointments associated with models in the next segment up.
New Twingo takes a fresh approach to the small car in keeping with the spirit that inspired the bold styling, innovations and cheeriness of the Renault 5 in 1971 and the original Twingo in 1993.
“Today, it is New Twingo’s turn to contribute to the renewal of Renault’s small-car range. This revitalisation process is founded on warm, sensuous styling, innovations that are practical in everyday use, versatility and quality performance, especially in terms of fuel consumption and refinement. The ingredients of this recipe are emotion, rigorous engineering and originality, and that is what appeals to customers – as the remarkable sales results for Clio and Captur clearly demonstrate.”
Ali Kassaï, Vice President, Small Car Programmes
Renault’s new models bring the emotion back to motoring
The success of Clio, Captur and ZOE shows that customers are drawn to Renault’s new styling identity and the products that embody it. Renault’s small cars have won numerous design awards and media accolades, proof that emotion is well and truly back on the agenda at Renault.
Renault’s small-car expertise runs in its blood and is founded on:
– Ongoing improvements to existing products: for example, Renault reduced the fuel consumption of the current Twingo by almost 25 percent between 2007 and 2012 thanks to ongoing work on its engines and aerodynamics.
– Rewriting the rulebook: Renault boasts a long and proud history of innovation and has never shirked from introducing revolutionary vehicles based on advanced ideas that have gone on to become the norm a few years down the line. Examples include the Renault 5 in 1972 and Twingo in 1993.
This bold approach is widely acclaimed and clearly appreciated, since Renault is the European market leader for small versatile cars (B-segment passenger cars) with a market share of almost 11% in 2013.
338,370 Renault Clios (latest generation) were sold worldwide in the 12 months of 2013.
A year and a half after its launch, Renault Clio is:
– Europe’s second best-selling B-segment model (passenger cars and LCVs),
– Europe’s third best-selling model all segments combined, with 274,741 units sold for a market share of 2%.
93,841 Renault Capturs were sold worldwide in 2013.
The most recent registration data for the last few months shows Captur heading for European market leadership, ahead of the 2008 and Juke.
RENAULT AND DAIMLER: A PRODUCTIVE PARTNERSHIP FOR AN AMBITIOUS RENEWAL PROGRAMME
In 2008, Renault’s engineers and designers started from a clean sheet of paper as they set out to create the next-generation Twingo. It was a challenging mission but they set their sights high, in keeping with the philosophy behind the iconic original which symbolised both Renault’s spirit of creativity and its ability to come up with game-changing concepts. Despite the newcomer’s smaller footprint, the aim was to produce an even roomier and more agile city car than the current Twingo, and this is how the idea of switching to a rear-mounted engine took form. The cost of development was initially deemed to be too high, but Renault’s thoughts found an echo in those of Daimler which was also in the process of exploring ideas for the next-generation two- and four-seat versions of the Smart. In April 2010, a strategic cooperation agreement was signed by the two firms, marking the official green light for a joint development programme which promised a wealth of synergies.
“By sharing the costs with Daimler, we were able to design New Twingo with a rear-engined architecture – a breakthrough in its segment.”
Carsten Krapf, Deputy Vice-President, Small Car Programmes
New Twingo – technical data in brief
Length: 3.59 m
Width: 1.64 m
Height: 1.55 m
Forward vertical field of view: 12.1 degrees
Turning circle: 8.65 m
Wheelbase: 2.49 m
Rear knee room: 13.6 cm
Maximum load length: 2.20 m
Boot capacity: 219 litres
Stowage capacity: 52 litres
SCe 70: 3 cylinders, petrol, 999cc, normally aspirated, 70 hp, 91 Nm
TCe 90: 3 cylinders, petrol, 898cc, turbo, 90 hp, 135 Nm