Renault wants Twingo to be No 2 in Europe’s minicar sgement

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 21, 2014

Renault is aiming to catapult its Twingo offering into the No. 2 spot in the minicar segment, chairman Stefan Mueller told Automotive News Europe in an interview. Currently holding the title as the Europe's selling minicar is the Fiat 500. It is followed by the Fiat Panda and third-placed Volkswagen Up. However, to surpass the Panda and Up, Renault needs to sell twice as much Twingos it sold in 2013.

Mueller remarked that Renault will not be offering the minicar at a low price to win sales. "We won’t do anything just for the sake of volume,” he said. Renault unveiled the Twingo at the 2014 Geneva auto show and will start selling it this summer. The Twingo car features a rear-mounted engine, allowing it to offer more space than its rivals in the segment.

The rear-wheel-drive Twingo boasts of being able to turn in a very tight space, which is an advantage for drivers trying to park in Europe’s overcrowded cities. Competition in the minicar segment has been getting stiffer as a third of the top 20 minicar models will be either all-new or new-generation vehicles by the end of 2014.

IHS Automotive expects this huge product refresh to increase sales to 1.3 million units in 2016 from 1.1 million in 2013. Further boosting the minicar segment are more stringent carbon dioxide limits in 2020 and a recovery of the Italian car market, the largest market for minicars in Europe.

Carmakers have also started offering minicars with upscale features. For instance, three-door minicars like the 500 and the Opel/Vauxhaull Adam lets buyers to choose from dozens of color combinations, thus allowing their makers to post a higher margin than usual in what is considered as a low-profit segment.

The latest version of the Renault Twingo marks the first time that the brand's new design DNA is featured. In fact, the new Twingo combines several styling features unveiled on Renault’s most recent concept cars, and the resulting appearance is bound to become signature genes of all future Renault cars. For instance, the expressive front end of New Twingo features a larger and more upright Renault diamond on the bonnet. The badge has been further emphasized and made more presentable thanks to a black background.

To make the front end of the new Renault Twingo more expressive and more appealing, it is specified with fog lights and round sidelights that are positioned just next to the grille. These headlights feature 'eyelids' that make the new Twingo more unique and characteristic in terms of appearance. Meanwhile, the rear end of the new Twingo is marked by additional lights on the tailgate, thereby highlighting the car’s soft lines and making the posterior section more aggressively appealing. These lines have been made softer by the rounder rear bumper as well a more curved shape of lower section of the tailgate.

Renault is offering the new Twingo with 24 different alloy wheel and wheel trim options. One of these is a new wheel design in black diamond effect that helps improve the Twingo’s aerodynamics while cutting the amount of carbon dioxide its emits. Aside from usual exterior colors already available, two original new colors have been added: Fuchsia and Bermuda Blue.

Customers from selected markets could have their new Twingo be equipped with an optional electrically operated fabric sunroof. Meanwhile, the interior of the Twingo has been practically enhanced to convey a spirited nature. Its seats now feature new patterns as well as edgings in contrasting colors.

The cabin also boasts of harmoniously coordinated stitching, leather or TEP panels. Even the door inserts, climate control and heater system controls could be specified in any of the available colors. Renault will commence sales of the Twingo in early 2012.

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