The first fruit of the Daimler and Renault alliance is ready for production and commercial launch. It is the all new “all-at-rear” Twingo developed in association with Smart.
In 2010 the two companies agreed on a strategic cooperation for the joint-development of New Twingo and the next versions of the two and four seats Smarts.
Preview concepts, the Twin’Z and Twin’Run of the small city car have been shown at events of different sorts since last March but now the replacement of the 20 years old French city car is shown in its final, and attractive, form.The small French car is not small really: it is some 3.6 metres long, fairly wide at 1705mm and some 1505 high.
At launch time the new Twingo is offered in its 4-door version, leaving Smart alone in meeting the demand for a small too-door city car, at least until the German brand is ready to launch its own 5-door ForFour, soon to be released for production after the preview in concept form at the past Frankfurt Motor Show.
At that time Renault should launch its 2-door Twingo.
Whereas for Smart the rear-powertrain-rear-drive architecture for its four-door replacement of the unsuccessful first generation “ForFour” (built in association with Mitsubishi) is a step towards the original Smart package, for Renault the new architecture is a sort of modern-times revolution. In the sixties the French maker produce the all-at-rear Renault 8 but there were “by-wire” technology at that time and the “front-wheel-drive revolution” has many pros.
Renault’s contribution to the joint-project comes with the powertrains shared by mass-produced compact Renaults and Dacia. Two turbocharged petrol TCe engines in 3 and 4 cylinder version of 0.9 and 1.2 litres and credited of power output ranging from 55 to 90 kW will be available at launch time.
The new all-at-rear architecture – dismissed by VW for its higher production costs – allows for the new Twingo the sort of wheelbase and interior roominess on a par with those of competitors in the higher segment. In addition the all-at-rear layout considerably improves the turning circle and agility.
The body design is very attractive and charming, somewhat reflecting the DNA of the very creative original Twingo, but its profile undoubtedly mimic that of the Fiat 500.
The designers led by Laurens van den Acker, Head of Renault Design, have been keen to grant their new design a typical brand character through the raked glass at the rear, inspired by the typical Renault 5 design and the optional soft top folding roof typical of the iconic Renault 4.
The new Twingo is no good news for any other competitors and Fiat will already respond with a design update to be revealed also at the Geneva Show.