The end of September sees UK delivery of Renault’s all-new, third generation Twingo in three versions (Expression, Play and Dynamique) following its initial presentation at March’s Geneva Motor Show – and there are high hopes for all three versions that Renault believe recapture the spirit of the original model of 1993.
The Twingo Power
All three are powered by a choice of two engines – the new 1.0-litre 70 hp SCe three-cylinder normally aspirated engine and a Dynamique TCe 90 with a 0.9-litre 90 hp three-cylinder turbocharged unit – with the Dynamique models also benefitting from Renault’s Stop & Start system to help reduce emissions and improve economy and Variable Gear Ratio power-assisted steering to aid agility and lower-speed reaction.
The three-cylinder 12-valve engines offer up to 14 mpg greater fuel economy with as much as 35 g/km lower CO2 emissions than the power units in the previous Twingo – all of which means that Renault can boast official figures of 67.3 mpg and just 95 g/km for the Dynamique SCe 70 with Start & Stop. In fact, all new Twingo models attain figures exceeding 60 mpg in mixed use and 50 mpg on the urban cycle.
The Twingo Technology
As standard on every All-New Twingo comes connectivity via the new smartphone-operated R & GO® system that enables drivers access to a variety of navigation, telephone, multimedia and trip computer functions, internet radio and a host of other practical features well as DAB radio, Bluetooth® connectivity and USB sockets. The higher-spec Dynamique models also offer the option of the R-Link multimedia system with a seven-inch touch-screen, voice control, TomTom®navigation and 3D sound by Arkamys.
The Twingo Look
You can pretty much be guaranteed that you will look good in the all-new Twingo as all versions come with body-coloured bumpers, door handles and exterior door mirror shells, a rear spoiler and LED daytime running lights.
You can also personalise your very own Twingo, making it as bespoke as you would want it with a range of personalisation colour options that include an interior style pack for the interior upholstery etc, an interior touch pack for the instrument and air vent surrounds, an exterior touch pack for the grille strips, side protection strips and door mirror shells, a choice of different alloy wheels and side decals, and a Sport Pack available to order exclusively on the Dynamique TCe 90 version.
The Twingo Drive
When it comes to the drive itself, comfort and convenience are provided with electric power steering, electric front windows, remote central locking, a speed limiter, a height-adjustable steering wheel, a trip computer and gearchange indicator, a lane-change function for the indicators and the automatic activation of the rear screen wiper when reverse gear is selected. Add into this mix (for the Play models) air conditioning, a height-adjustable driver’s seat and steering wheel, and 15” black two-tone wheel trims in place of the grey ones with Expression and you are looking at a specification that many cars would see as boosted with optional extras.
With the top-of-the-shop Dynamique model, you’ll find even more with 15” alloy wheels, pinstripe shoulder-line decals, front foglamps, electric heated door mirrors, cruise control, a lane departure warning system, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gearshift knob, white instrument backlighting, a folding key and storage pockets in the rear doors.
Other additions that are available include, depending on which particular model is chosen, an electric panoramic fabric sunroof, rear parking sensors, a choice of premium sound systems, the Seats Pack (Heated front seats etc), the Techno Pack (R-Link connectivity, infotainment and navigation system and a rear parking camera), and the Convenience Pack (automatic lights and wipers and climate control) packs at surprisingly low prices.
The Twingo Cabin
Practicality inside the all-new Twingo isn’t forgotten amidst the rush to improve everything else with a unique-in-segment folding front passenger seat and a split-folding two-seat rear bench as well as providing lots of storage areas within the cabin itself, three cupholders and a boot light.
As the only 5-door car in its segment with a folding front passenger seat as standard, All-New Twingo’s cabin has a load length of 2.31 metres, luggage capacity of 219 litres that can be extended to 980 litres by folding the 50:50 split rear seats, 52 litres of personal storage space including a removable 2.6-litre compartment at the bottom of the centre console, 29 litres of space beneath the front seats (with available nets) and a 6.4-litre glovebox.
The Twingo Safety
Safety equipment includes Electronic Stability Control, Hill Start Assist, Emergency Brake Assist and four airbags as well as front and rear headrests and a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System.
The Twingo Difference
For the first time in the Twingo history, the engine is mounted at the rear to drive the rear wheels, and there are five doors instead of three. Admittedly a touch smaller than its predecessor in length, (overall it is roomier in the cabin) having the engine at the rear helps the All-New Twingo to boast a best-in-class turning circle of only 8.59 metres, making manoeuvrability a real plus for those drivers who need to get the car into kerbside parking spaces or end-on parking bays.
Packaging the engine so as not to intrude into the luggage area and to offer maximum protection in a rear-end collision was a significant challenge. Renault’s engineers have overcome it by tilting the engine by 49 degrees and re-engineering 50 per cent of the parts. This ensures that the engine is pushed beneath the passenger cell if the car is hit from behind, and that it takes up 15 cm less space than if it had been mounted vertically.
Rear-engined cars are far costlier to produce than conventional front-engined, front-drive models, but Renault has managed to overcome this by collaborating with Daimler during the development of the All-New Twingo. Daimler will be creating their next-generation Smart models off the same platform at Renault’s Novo Mesto plant in Slovenia – keeping costs down for both groups.
Looks like Renault have tried to be all things to all men (and women) with the new Twingo – and succeeded.