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Geneva show: Renault outs rear-engine Twingo

Twingo no-go: The design of Renault’s quirky Twingo sub-compact hatch takes inspiration from both the Twin’Z and Twin’Run concepts.

Renault’s Twingo city-car is go for Geneva show – but not Australia

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Renault logo14 Feb 2014

By TIM NICHOLSON

RENAULT has released images of its next-generation rear-engined Twingo city-car ahead of its international debut at the Geneva motor show next month.

However, Australia’s Renault fans should not get too excited – the tiny runabout is not expected to make it to this market.

Renault Australia corporate communications and sponsorship manager Emily Fadeyev said the Twingo was unlikely to get the green light for Australia anytime soon, as the French car-maker’s local arm struggled to make the business case work for the little runabout.

Renault collaborated with Daimler in the development of the third-generation Twingo which will share its underpinnings with the next-gen Smart ForTwo and ForFour.

No powertrain details have been released, but the little Renault will be powered by an engine mounted at the back. The company says this layout, plus use of a smaller engine block and positioning of the wheels at the corners of the car, makes for extra cabin space.

The company said the new Twingo was “surprisingly manoeuvrable in built-up areas”, with a turning circle smaller than that of the outgoing model.

Renault said the design of the Twingo came from the Twin’Z and Twin’Run concepts revealed last year, with the grille and headlights mirroring the front-end of the Twin’Run, but with a toned-down lower air intake.

At the rear, the blacked-out glass tailgate has been retained from the concept, but the tail-lights are more production-model friendly.

The company also cites the iconic Renault 5 hatch it sold between 1972 and 1996 as inspiration for the design, with the Twingo featuring a similar raked rear windscreen as well as its prominent shoulder line.

The third-generation Twingo marks the first time it has been built as a five-door bodystyle, and it includes hidden rear door handles similar to those on the larger Clio hatch.

It can be optioned with one of four body colours – light blue, white, yellow and red – with a number of customisation options for the exterior, including side mouldings, decals and door mirrors.

Renault said in a statement that these options meant the Twingo “can take on a host of stances, from urban to sporty, feminine and masculine”.

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