The new Twingo EV will sit underneath the forthcoming Renault 5 and Renault 4
Renault will revive the Twingo as a new sub-£17,000 EV that it claims will offer “best-in-class” efficiency and serve as a key part of an expanded European line-up of seven EVs.
Renault Group boss Luca de Meo described the new Twingo as a "silver bullet for sustainability mobility" and a key in the firm's quest for an affordable EV.
It's due to arrive in 2026 and will be designed and engineered in Europe, with de Meo promising that it will match Chinese rivals in terms of price. He added that the brand could use an outside partner to develop it.
De Meo claimed the hatchback will cost 50% less to produce than a new C-segment SUV, due to reduction in materials and an increased focus on a software-driven platform that will require fewer parts and materials.
He said that the new Twingo was a "car from the guts" of the Renault brand, like the original was when it launched 30 years ago.
So far, the Renault Group has given only a few outline details on the new Twingo, describing it as a “fit-for-purpose urban vehicle with no compromise”.
It claims the car will offer impressive efficiency of 6.2mpkWh and 75%-lower CO2 emissions over its lifecycle than the “average European ICE car sold in 2023”.
A previous report in Automotive News Europe suggests that the model could be built at Renault's factory in Novo Mesto, Slovenia.
It would neatly fill the gap left by the ICE Twingo, which is still available in some left-hand-drive markets, but is nearing 10 years old.
The Twingo will be priced at less than €20,000 (£17,000), which Renault Group claims will cost less than €100 (£87) per month.
The Capital Market Day financial event also serves as a launch for the Ampere firm, a new standalone company within Renault Group. Officially launched on 1 November, it will design, engineer, manufacture and market EVs in Europe – although models will be sold under the Renault brand. It will have around 35,000 employees.
A key focus for Ampere will be on achieving price parity between EVs and ICE vehicles. It will focus on B- and C-segment models using two existing Renault Group EV platforms. B-segment cars such as the 5, 4 and Twingo will be built on the Ampr Small (previously CMF-BEV) architecture, with C-segment cars including the Mégane and Scenic using Ampr Medium (previously CMF-EV).
Ampere claims that it has a plan to reduce variable costs for the second generation of bespoke C-segment EVs, which it describes as "Megane and Scenic successors". These will arrive by 2027/28 with a focus on a 50% reduction in battery cost per vehicle, a 25% reduction in powertrain and platform costs and a 15% reduction in upper-body vehicle costs. It also claims it will refine its operations to reduce manufacturing and logistic costs by half.
The Mégane is already on sale, with the Scenic set to join it shortly. The 5 will be launched in production form early next year, followed by the more rugged 4 in 2025, and the Twingo is tipped to arrive in 2026.
Ampere said that two additional cars will then arrive as part of its second generation of EVs, growing its line-up of European Renault EVs to seven by 2031. By that point, the firm is aiming to sell around a million EVs per year, up from around 300,000 currently.
Ampere will focus on developing 'software-defined vehicles', which will require fewer mechanical parts as a result, allowing for substantial cost-savings. De Meo said that in terms of costs the firm's first SDV – which based on product cylcle is likely to be the Twingo – would be "on a par with Tesla at that time, and matching the Chinese brands."
De Meo also hinted that Ampere's focus on the European market could help it win consumers over compared to Chinese machines that have technology and infotainment more suited to tech-hungry buyers in that market.
"Don't underestimate the cultural aspects of software usage," said de Meo. He highlighted security as a major example of this, nothing the European smartphone market move away from Chinese phones due to privacy concerns, but added: "It's not just about security: it's about better access. It's also about culture with functionality, economics and services.
"Our SDV is based on European needs, and we know European customers will value connectivity needs. That's why we're not investing heabily in autonomy, we're aiming for Leve 2+. We see the risk of pushing aheadf in this field."
Ampere will also develop and produce two EVs for the Renault Group's performance brand, Alpine, along with the new Nissan Micra for its alliance partner.
De Meo added that it will also produce a new "global" C-segment electric SUV for third Alliance partner Mitsubishi.
What we know about plans for the new Renault Twingo
Plans for a new entry-level Renault model were made public earlier this year, when company CEO Luca de Meo revealed his ambition to 'democratise' EV ownership in Europe. Indications that it will undercut the 5 on price suggest that it could go on sale at around the £20,000 mark.
De Meo referred to the new model as "one of the things that will enable democratisation of EVs that will potentially boost volume", suggesting that it will help to boost mass electric car ownership in both the UK and mainland Europe.
A huge inspiration for the car, de Meo said, are Japanese-market kei micocars, which are strictly size- and power-regulated. These affordable cars accounted for more than one in three of the 4.2 million new vehicles sold in Japan last year.
“I like very much the idea of translating into European language the concept of kei cars in Japan. So I think that there is some intelligence in that kind of concept, because it's not only a product issue. It is a product-plus-regulation [issue] to enable efficient and low-impact human mobility.”
The Renault Group already sells the cheapest full-sized electric passenger car in Europe: the Spring. This A-segment crossover, priced from roughly £14,000 in France with local incentives, is smaller than a Ford Fiesta, is capped at 62mph and can cover only 140 miles per charge. It uses an electric motor that makes 44bhp and 92lb ft, and is fed by a 26.8kWh battery.
Speaking about the impact and importance of a car like this, de Meo said: “I'm acting right now as a president of the European [Automobile Manufacturers'] Association. We are fighting against some of the things that we don't consider right for the industry.
“But on the other side, we're totally aware that we also have to bring solutions to the problems, [from] air quality to decarbonation. And I think that being able to produce a sub-D-segment, or A-segment car, at a low impact, is probably one of the solutions that the European industry can bring.”