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The New Rear-Engine Twingo

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

The DriveWrite Archives Topics:  Renault Twingo

The New Rear-Engine Twingo

Geoff Maxted
DriveWrite
14 February 2014


Renault Twingo Renault Twingo Renault Twingo Renault Twingo Renault 750
Two decades after it launched the original Twingo into the small car segment, Renault has taken a fresh look at its version of the city car. The Company’s engineers and designers started from scratch and took their inspiration from the legacy left by the original Twingo and the good old Renault 5. Now Renault has taken the wraps off the new five-door Twingo which is, they say, a new, innovative and agile car that is great fun to drive. There’s a choice of four striking colours to choose from and, something we haven’t seen from Renault for a long time, a rear-mounted engine to promote agile handling.

Combining 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. The car also boasts the sort of wheelbase and roomy interior more generally associated with models in the next segment up, they say.

In 2008, Renault’s engineers and designers set out to create the next-generation Twingo. Their aim was to create an even roomier and more agile city car, despite its smaller footprint, and this is how the idea of switching to a rear-mounted engine took form, in spite of the higher development costs this entailed.

Renault’s ideas mirrored those of Daimler which, at the same time, was planning for the next-gen two and four-seat versions of their popular 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 Smart.

Positioning the engine at the rear is a significant plus for a small city car since it frees up the front end and considerably improves the turning circle. Indeed, The new Twingo is reckoned to be very manoeuvrable in built-up areas and parking calls for only a few turns of the steering wheel.

Harking back, some elements are heavily inspired by the redoubtable Renault 5, including the rake of the Twingo’s rear screen and its prominent shoulders, which are redolent of the mad rear-engined Renault 5 Turbo that proved so popular with the public in its heyday. The front end features the brand’s new trademark styling, including a prominent Renault logo set to a black background. The Twingo will be officially revealed at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show next month.



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