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Renault to roll out circa-$30K Twingo BEV

French brand on the offensive in BEV price war, with low-cost Twingo model on the way

17 Nov 2023

RENAULT has shared plans to release a new all-electric Twingo model with lower entry price and energy consumption than current battery electric vehicles (BEV) from European and Chinese manufacturers, due for release in 2026.


Developed by the French firm’s BEV division, Ampere, the new Twingo was revealed to investors at a capital markets day with Renault chief executive Luca de Meo calling it “a silver bullet for sustainable urban mobility”.


The aim, according to Renault, is to not only offer a cheap electric mobility option amidst difficult cost-of-living conditions in Europe, but also to make money doing so – seemingly the trickier of the two outcomes to achieve.


While specifications are thin on the ground, Renault claims the Twingo will offer up to 75 per cent less CO2 emissions across its lifetime and will use just 10kWh per 100km – 50 per cent less than many current BEVs.


The third-generation Twingo is expected to use the same CMF-BEV platform as Renault’s other incoming electric models, developed alongside Nissan.


Its ambitious 2026 launch date is aimed at showcasing Renault’s ability to outdo Chinese manufacturers that are increasingly quick to deploy new models, accelerating development to keep pace.


While initially teasing a sticker price of just €20,000 ($A33,500), Renault is also a strong proponent of decentralised ownership – in Europe the Zoe was sold separately to its leased battery pack – and Mr de Meo suggested a monthly price of less than €100 ($A167), presumably for those wishing to lease the Twingo.


Borrowing heavily from the original Twingo, launched in 1992 as a cute city runabout with a space-efficient design and fuel-sipping powertrain, the new concept has the same round headlights and three bonnet vents – although they no longer provide airflow, instead showing charge level.


The daring third-generation Twingo concept comes 125 years after Louis Renault, a young mechanic at the time, also took a gamble to build the first ever Renault model – the cart-like Voiturette.


It seems Renault’s BEV efforts borrow from the same desire to be different that Mr Renault himself lived by when he converted a Dion-Bouton tricycle into a lightweight four-wheeled city car.


So daring was Mr Renault back in 1898 that he and a few friends piled into his tiny contraption to tackle the steepest road in Paris – Rue Lepic – in a ploy to market the vehicle.


The little Voiturette motored up the road with ease, shocking onlookers, which led to an influx of orders that same day and eventually the forming of Renault Group.


Parallels to Renault’s original design ethos can be drawn with the Twingo, as Mr de Meo urged consumers to again consider small, light, minimalistic cars for urban use, suggesting two-plus-tonne vehicles are untenable for inner-city mobility. 


“We have to go back to smaller cars,” he said.


“Instead of talking about it, I'm presenting a solution that is feasible, and that is the Twingo.”


The small car sentiment is one Mr de Meo has likely held for some time, after heading up Fiat in the 2000s, saying the Twingo reminds him of the popular Fiat 500.


While it is not yet known whether Australia will receive the new Twingo model, the growing appetite for cut-price Chinese electric cars Down Under suggests a compelling business case for a similarly cheap European model.

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