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Frankfurt show: Renault Twingo facelift not for Oz

Twingo no-go: Renault has no plans to import the funky Twingo to Australia, where it would otherwise compete with the likes of Suzuki’s Alto and Holden’s Barina Spark.

Renault teases revised Twingo city-car ahead of Frankfurt but no plans for Australia

Renault logo1 Aug 2011

By HAITHAM RAZAGUI

RENAULT has issued one front three-quarter and two exterior detail images of its facelifted 2012 Twingo city hatch ahead of its Frankfurt show debut next month.

The French brand’s Australian outpost has confirmed to GoAuto that it still has no plans to bring the Twingo here, which is not altogether surprising given that the next model up in Renault’s range, the Clio, is only available Down Under in RS hot-hatch guise.

In a brief press release accompanying the images, Renault said the facelifted Twingo is the “first mass production vehicle to be inspired by the Renault brand’s new design identity”.

The facelift, which appears to largely comprise a new front bumper and redesigned headlights, features an enlarged lower air intake and a bigger Renault badge set within an upper grille.

The new badge and grille treatment vaguely echoes Renault’s new corporate face that debuted on the DeZir sportscar concept at the 2010 Paris motor show and has featured on all the brand’s concepts since.

Large Nissan Juke-style spotlights below the reshaped main headlights are prominent, with the turn indicators relocated to the lower bumper to create what Renault describes as a “typically expressive front face”.

35 center imageA close-up of the rear light clusters reveals what could be new tailgate-mounted reversing lights and the lurid purple car features two-tone black and bare metal alloy wheels.

The Twingo’s side profile is otherwise unchanged save for the car’s black trim strip on its flanks becoming body-coloured, while the mirrors contrast with the bodywork in gloss black.

No images of the Twingo’s interior or details of any drivetrain changes have yet emerged, although European reports suggest it will debut a new 900cc three-cylinder petrol engine – dubbed Energy TCe – from the R-Space MPV concept that was unveiled at the Geneva show in March.

In addition to its small displacement, the concept’s 80kW/160Nm engine featured a number of fuel- and CO2-saving measures including idle-stop, direct injection, exhaust recirculation, radio-frequency spark plugs and variable-displacement oil pump, resulting in a claimed fuel consumption of 3.7 litres per 100km and CO2 emissions of 95g/km in the 1300kg R-Space (the Twingo weighs about 1000kg).

The boxy original Twingo went on sale in Europe in 1992 as a spiritual successor to the iconic Renault 4 and was only available in left-hand drive. It enjoyed a relatively long production life until it was superseded in 2007 by the current model, which is produced for both left- and right-hand-drive markets.

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