Renault SA is set to reveal a redesigned Twingo minicar this September in an attempt to refresh the company’s styling to revive sales. The new Twingo will be the first test for the company’s new head of design to impact sales since he joined the company in 2009. According to Renault’s top designer, Laurens van den Acker, during an interview last week, the upgraded Twingo is a "quick and dirty" mid-life facelift instead of a brand new vehicle.
For the four-year-old Twingo model, production in Novo Mesto, Slovenia, has declined 14 percent to 153,599 units in 2010. This is almost thrice the rate of the drop in the overall vehicle market in Europe.
The redesigned Twingo is limited to upgrades of the rear end and front "because the investments are otherwise too high" according to van den Acker, who joined Renault from Mazda Motor Corp.
On another note, he disclosed that he has finalized the design for the next-generation subcompact Clio, and that this is his first complete overhaul of a Renault vehicle model.
He further revealed that the vehicle has more "muscular" lines, and will premier next year, ahead of the 2012 Paris Motor Show. The share of Renault in the western European market dropped to 8.4 percent in 2010 from a share of 10.7 percent in 2002.
The new Twingo is the first vehicle from Renault to carry the new design identity of the brand. Some of its features are styled similarly to new concept cars. In fact, it’s expected to be part of the brand’s visual signature for the future. It was after its official launch that it became well-known that the Twingo boasted outstanding build quality. This is more obvious with how the interior was finished as seen by the use of higher quality and more substantial materials on the improved dashboard.
Sales of the Twingo are expected in early 2012. It is obvious that the Twingo has a cheerful side and this is improved even further by the complement of material and color on the interior. Each of the choices for the upholstery appears to have their very own characteristics. New patterns are featured on the seats with the edging having contrasting colors. All of the stitching is synchronized, much like the TEP panels or the leather.
There also colors on the heater system control, climate control, and door inserts. While the controls have chrome details, the lateral air vents have different tones which largely depend on the market. Examples of these are Anis Green, Gloss Black, Gunmetal, and Majorelle Blue. Based on the market, higher equipment levels made available distinguish the interior treatments. For the Dynamique, GT, Gordini, and Renault Sport, the options include sporty or masculine.
The Initiale and Privilege packages offer comfort and more feminine features. In terms of design, the exterior dimensions are compact. However, the interior remains comfortable. Take the knee room for example, it offers 22 centimeters and is considered as one of the best in the class. Additionally the Twingo has always been known to be versatile and is practical as the rear seats allows for a 50/50 split and can even slide independently.
Boot capacity is 230 cubic dm but can be increased to as high as 959 cubic dm. Offered as an option are the different inventive solutions and cubbies which can blend to make it the best either for travel within the U.S. or weekly shopping. On the exterior, the front was clearly inspired from the new design. The Renault diamond on the bonnet for instance is more upright and is even bigger. Highlighting the badge is the use of black background and this helps the brand to be displayed in a confident and robust style. While it does have a new design, the new Twingo’s front end is appealing and expressive like the first-generation version.
It also has a playful and dynamic quality to it and this is underscored by the round sidelights and fog lights that are now placed beside the grille. The headlights have those eyelids that add to the unique appearance of the Twingo. While the rear portion continues to have the main cluster, new lights have been added. These have been placed on the tailgate and improve the lines as well as reflect the feel of the front end. It also helps in delivering that extra punch and shape to the Twingo. Since the rear bumper is rounder and the tailgate’s lower part is more curved, it results in the line being softer. In terms of options for the alloy wheels and the wheel trims, there are 24 of them.
One such option is the new wheel design that comes with a black diamond effect and helps not just in enhancing aerodynamics but lowering CO2 emissions as well. The existing colors for the exterior are still offered with the addition of two new ones in the form of Bermuda Blue and Fuchsia. These two new additions give the Twingo a hint of light-hearted fun, a quality present in urban cars. Based on the market, it is possible to equip, though an option, the Twingo with a fabric sunroof that can be operated electrically. The Twingo does not only have a new design but it will also function as a way for Renault to offer five new roof decals.
This is in addition to the 10 options already being offered by the brand. Each of these options is factory fitted and exhibits its own attractive and strong qualities. It even has contrasting motifs in order to give varying visual settings. Two of these decals allow the upholstery and interior to be synchronized. For the more adventurous customers, they can have the colors for the door mirrors contrast with that of the main body’s color. They can do the same with the tip of the mouldings protective side. Whether the choice is graphic or radical, the outcome may not be truly personal but is sure to be elegant. This customization option will be launched through an online configurator. The brand also revealed that it will be offering attractive pricing for this customization.