Renault targets city streets with reinvention of the Twingo


September 3, 2014

Renault has unveiled the third-generation model Twingo aimed at city drivers

Renault has unveiled the third-generation model Twingo aimed at city drivers

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Renault is taking aim at the urban car market with a major redesign for its third-generation Twingo, with the goal of recapturing the spirit of the original release in 1992. Based on last year’s Twin’Z and Twin’Run concept cars, the new Twingo was developed jointly with Daimler and is manufactured at the Novo Mesto plant in Slovenia as what Renault calls a fun, ultra-maneuverable city car.

The most obvious change to the four-passenger Twingo is that it’s now a five-door hatchback – though Renault is keeping it on the quiet by concealing the rear-door handles. The next is that the engine has been moved to a rear mount. The new 864 kg (1,904 lb) Twingo is also 10 cm (4 in) shorter despite its 2.49 m (8.1 ft) wheelbase, yet the interior is 22 cm (8.6 in) longer than the previous version.

The Twingo is designed for navigating tight city streets, with a turning circle of 4.3 m (14.1 ft) and steering that operates through 45 degrees, as opposed to the more conventional 30 degrees, along with an elevated driving position and short bonnet that puts an emphasis on visibility. Renault is also offering a high level of personalization through the choice of colors, trim, and interiors.

"Compact" would seem to be an understatement for the new Twingo with its short nose and the wheels set on the extreme corners, as well as extremely short front and rear overhangs. Like many subcompacts, it looks like it’s all cabin with the bonnet and boot as a bit of an afterthought, but Renault tries to make up for that with a strong shoulder line that becomes broader over the wheels. Renault is so keen on this touch that it even adds graphic decals to some Twingos to draw attention to it. However, this is upset by a puzzling rear spoiler that seems more for aesthetics than function.

Hidden under the boot floor is a choice of SCe 70 and Energy TCe 90, 1-liter, turbocharged naturally aspirated three-cylinder petrol engines mounted to take up as little space as possible and redesigned for the new rear mount. Depending on the engine, the Twingo can crank 70 to 90 bhp (52 to 66 kW) with 91 to 135 Nm of torque. This feeds into a 5-speed manual gearbox.

Since the Twingo is a city car, it isn't made for blistering performance, with a top speed of 93 to 102 mph (151 to 165 km/h), and an anemic acceleration of 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 14.5 to 10.8 seconds. However, there is a MacPherson-type front suspension and a De Dion-type rear suspension arrangement. Renault says that the electric assisted power steering is finely-calibrated for city driving compared with the previous Twingo.

A standout feature of the new vehicle is the interior that boasts as much passenger space as can be crammed into a subcompact, with a flat floor and 50/50-split folding rear seat allowing for a maximum load length of 2.31 m (7.57 ft). Even the engine is designed to fit under the boot for more space, while remaining clear of the wheel wells.

In the cockpit is a large central speedometer and display that draws focus thanks to the contrasting interior trim. There’s also a choice of two multimedia systems, a navigation system based on the R & GO system with smartphone connection capability, involuntary lane departure indicators, and Hill Start Assist for taking off on steep hills.

"New Renault Twingo was inspired not only by the original Twingo but also by the Renault 5," says Laurens van den Acker, Renault's Head of Industrial Design. "It is a modern take on the city car theme with the accent on innovation in terms of its lines and architecture.”

Source: Renault

About the Author
David Szondy David Szondy is a freelance writer based in Monroe, Washington. An award-winning playwright, he has contributed to Charged and iQ magazine and is the author of the website Tales of Future Past. All articles by David Szondy

"an anemic acceleration of 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 14.5 to 10.8 seconds" To 100 in the 10s is not a slow car. Yes, not a fast car, but in this class fast enough. I dislike this pre-framing where small sub compact vehicles are shunned in countries with the luxury of wide open roads.


I think that is really nice. In a way, small seems to be the new big. There seems to be a trend in small cars; Smart Fortwo, Fiat 500, Scion iQ.

I believe the Smart Forfour - at one time - was going to be based on the Renault Twingo.

I hope Renault does better in the US than it seemed to have done in the past; assuming that the Twingo even makes it to the US.

Is the yellow car above the old model? There seem to be 2 or 3 different model cars in the gallery. Does the hood open? (I suppose that it might have a spare tire in there.)

I think my next car may be one of these or something similar.


I believe would open if the radiator and windshield washer fluid is in front; perhaps similar to the Smart Fortwo.

Hopefully it will have a spare, unlike the Smart Fortwo which has no room for a spare.


Will be interesting to see what the price ends up "dealer floor". The accelleration sounds like most of the cars I have owned over the years so as long as it can merge from on-ramps, who cares if it is not a 1/4 mile sub 5 second drag car?

The Skud

0-60 in in 14.5 seconds here would get you killed trying to merge onto the on-ramps here. Still, for those living in cramped cities, such a vehicle would be nice. Easy to park, cheap to drive and cheap to own. It would not work where I live, but I see its purpose.

@ the skud

0-60 in 5 seconds is slow for a drag car. :)

Michael Wilson

I give this a Big FAIL because it STILL has a combustion engine. This is just another small car with a combustion engine and no imagination here just warmed over SSDD.


@ The Skud Merging into traffic is why I like a lot of power.


A hybrid could give a short burst of acceleration for merging, and better overall MPG. Better aerodynamics would help also. Small does not have to be ugly, but for 60 years sexy has been reserved for sport cars. I have never understood why.

Don Duncan

Looks a lot like my Fiat 500.

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