More than 2.4 million Twingos have been sold since Renault introduced the model in April 1993 and finally comes a successor generation which will go on sale in mid-June in Europe. The New Twingo, the first new model in an extensive range renewal programme under the Renault Commitment 2009 Plan, is said to target a broader, more international customer base than its predecessor (there?s even a right-hand-drive model). It will be made at the Novo Mesto plant in Slovenia.
City driving calls for compactness and agility and the New Twingo measures 3600 mm long by 1654 mm wide, making it ideal for an urban environment. The extra 170 mm in length (with a 2367 mm wheelbase) that sets it apart from its predecessor have been employed to provide additional safety performance and cabin space without detracting from the car?s main objective, which is to remain easy to control in all circumstances, with a small turning-circle diameter (between kerbs) of 9.85 metres(depending on version and wheel size).
True to the concept pioneered by its predecessor, the New Twingo has three doors opening onto four comfortable seats that accommodate passengers of any size. Quality materials and excellent finish are used throughout the intuitive, ergonomic passenger compartment. This eminently practical little car goes to extremes on user convenience, with its versatile layout capabilities, surprisingly spacious interior and handy stowage cubbies. The boot is claimed to be the largest in this vehicle category, and some versions feature four independent sliding seats.
The new little Renault can communicate with the outside world using connection capabilities unparalleled in this vehicle segment. The TunePoint sound system, with steering-wheel controls, can import custom music libraries in mp3 format from a USB thumbdrive, mp3 player or Apple iPod. There?s also a Bluetooth hands-free phone system for safer motoring.
From initial release, the New Twingo comes with a broad choice of engines, including a high-performance petrol unit and a diesel engine There are three petrol engines: 1.2-litre 43kW/60 bhp;, 1.2-litre 16V 56 kW/75hp; and the brand new TCE (Turbo Control Efficiency) 74 kW/100 bhp, all of which incorporate the On-Board Diagnostic system for lasting efficiency of the emission control equipment.
The new model can also be ordered with the 1.5-litre dCi 47 kW/65hp diesel engine, an important addition since one in five A-segment cars sold in Europe today are diesel-powered.
Transmission options are either the JB1 5-speed manual gearbox or the JH1 automated manual transmission (AMT like the one in the Proton Savvy). As well as providing automated gearshift capabilities at low additional cost, the Quickshift system (as the AMT is known) also improves fuel economy by around 3%.
MacPherson-type front suspension features hydraulic dampers, coil springs and an anti-roll bar. The programmed deflection H-beam rear suspension is compact and lightweight. For travelling comfort and the effective suppression of vibrations, it comes with vertically-mounted dampers and variable-rate coil springs with rubber bushes at each end to minimize transmission of vibration to the body shell. Special attention has been paid to the suspension mountings, which combine a rubber honeycomb construction for effective vibration filtering plus a special rigid shoulder for enhanced roadholding.
Respect for the environment is an inherent part of the New Twingo?s genetic makeup, with CO2 emissions down below 140 g/km, 9% of recycled plastic material, and production at the Novo Mesto plant which is certified to ISO 14001. Regardless of the choice of engine, all New Twingo versions bear ?Renault eco2? and are for the lowest possible running costs and the longest possible service life. The idea is to make it economical to run as well as being inexpensive to buy.