The new Renault Twingo aims to recapture the spirit of the Renault 5, according to company boss Michael van der Sande.
He revealed that the Twingo will be the latest step in the rebirth of Renault’s range. The firm is “working through [the] range, looking for model opportunities – that will include big cars,” said van der Sande. The new Twingo made its debut at the Geneva motor show today.
That’s some big shoes to fill if they wish to recapture the spirit of the Renault 5 but with the rear wheel drive it’s certainly going to be a fun car to drive.
The Twingo uses a pair of newly developed three-cylinder engines. The first is a modified version of the existing 898cc TCe 90 unit developing 89bhp and 100lb ft, which is canted over at 49 degrees to maximise interior space. The second engine is a unit of the same capacity producing 69bhp and 67lb ft. Both will be mated to a five-speed manual gearbox at launch.
Renault chief designer Laurens van den Acker said that the new Twingo’s shape was inspired not just by the ground-breaking original 1992 model, but also by the classic Renault 5, one of the definitive European hatchbacks.
“Moving the action [drivetrain] to the back gives fantastic advantages,” he added. “It increases interior space and wheelbase and shortens the overhangs.”
Renault said that work on the replacement Twingo began in 2008 and explored the rear-engined format as the basis for a new city car.
The company said, “The aim was to create an even roomier and more agile city car, despite its smaller footprint. Combined with the use of a smaller block and the positioning of the wheels at the car’s extreme corners, the rear-mounted engine also frees up extra cabin space, while New Twingo also boasts the sort of wheelbase and roomy interior more generally associated with models in the next segment up.”
Renault has a history with this layout, notably with the Dauphine and Renault 8.
Information and images courtesy of www.autocar.co.uk