Future design of city cars – The new Twingo

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Does the Twingo MkIII show the way for new small car design?

Anyone that ventured to France during the 1990s will have inherently built up a hatred of the Renault Twingo – a small, shitty little car that appeared seemingly overnight in swarms.

Beloved of boy racers, the elderly, and as I remember once seeing, a goat farmer on the motorway on his way to market (with his herd in the back), they truly were the cheap runabout of choice.

So it’s with a heavy heart that we have to inform you that the Twingo is being brought back to life (again), but with some interesting design pointers.

The Twingos, new and (horribly) old

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Renault has always been a specialist in designing nippy little city cars, and the Twingo ‘Mk III’ may have changed the game for other urban runabouts by having its engine mounted at the rear.

This comes as a result of ‘platform sharing’ (where car manufacturers partner with others to save development costs – like the latest Ford Ka and Fiat 500) which it partners with the next-generation Smart car.

As a result it has a short nose, great for city parking, while the length of the car is still generous enough to allow for five doors – accomplished via the front door pushing forward over the wheel and a compact rear overhang.

The smaller power plants offer two main bonuses to car manufacturers: it allows Renault’s designers to pack in as much interior space as possible in a tiny area; while popping the main engineering components where the shopping bags traditionally sit means fewer expensive components needed to get the power down through the wheels.

The Twingo will be launched at the Geneva motorshow next month.


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