Friday, August 5, 2011

Renault Twingo

The Renault Twingo is a city car built by French automaker Renault, first presented at the Paris Motor Show in September 1992 and sold in continental European markets beginning in 1993. The second generation Twingo was launched in Summer 2007. The "Twingo" name is a portmanteau derived from the words "Twist", "Swing" and "Tango". The Twingo was designed under Patrick le Quément, Renault's chief designer. Le Quément's belief was that it was a greater risk for Renault to take no risks at all, having seen its market share suffer from cars such as the Renault 9 and 11. The design of the Twingo resembles that of the 1982 Polish prototype Beskid, from which its monobox silhouette is claimed to be derived. The Twingo has been built since its launch in France in 1992 and in Colombia and Uruguay from 1995 to 2008, undergoing three intermediate restylings in 1998, 2000 and 2004 — solely as left-hand drive models in its first-generation and not sold in most RHD markets. Production of the first generation model ceased at the Flins factory in France on 28 June 2007. It is, however, still produced in Colombia by the Sofasa conglomerate. for the South American market. Total production up to 30 June 2007 was 2,478,648.

The Twingo featured revolutionary features (at the time of launch) of a centrally mounted instrument panel, consisting of a speedometer, fuel gauge and clock, with the odometer and trip recorder selected by pushing a button on the end of the steering column stalk. This left just a strip of warning lights in the area behind the steering wheel. It also had a sliding rear seat, which could be moved to either increase boot space or rear seat legroom. The boot parcel shelf was also unusual in that it was attached to the inside of the tailgate, and lifted up with the tailgate. It could also be clipped back against the rear window when not required. All the first-generation Twingos were equipped with straight-4 petrol engines. Initially available with an 8-valve 1.2-litre 55 hp (41 kW) engine, it was replaced with an 8-valve 1.15-litre 60 hp (45 kW) unit. A 16-valve 75 hp (56 kW) version was added in 2000. Many parts (e.g. the JB1 gearbox, brakes, engine, window switches and seats) are shared with other vehicles across the Renault range. A concept was presented at the 2006 Mondial de l'Automobile. The production version was presented at the 2007 Geneva Motor Show after a last minute redesign was ordered. The model is based on the floorpan of the Renault Clio Mark II, with significantly improved strength and crash protection. Production was transferred from France to the Novo Mesto plant in Slovenia (Revoz). It went on sale in France, Italy and Slovenia on 15 June 2007, and in the rest of Europe, including the UK and Ireland, on September 4, 2007. The motoring press in the UK have criticised the new Twingo for being rather unadventurous in style and appearance compared to the original. The petrol engine is a 1.2-litre unit in three versions, an 8-valve 60 hp (45 kW) naturally aspirated, a 16-valve 75 hp (56 kW) naturally aspirated and a 16-valve 100 hp (70 kW) turbocharged version. The diesel engine is a 1.5-litre 65 hp (48 kW) dCi unit. Trim levels for the French market starts with the un-named base model followed by Authentique, Expression, Initiale, Dynamique and GT. On 31 January 2008 Renault announced the Twingo Renaultsport, with a new 133 hp (100 kW) 1,598 cc engine and Renaultsport styling. Its first public outing was at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show and the first cars were shipped in late 2008.

The second generation Twingo is also available in right hand drive markets such as the United Kingdom and Japan. Engines available in the UK are the 75 hp (56 kW) in Dynamique trim level and 100 hp (70 kW) petrol units, in GT trim level. A 60 hp (45 kW) engine, in a cheaper Extreme trim level was released in January 2008, and the Renaultsport 133 hp (100 kW) went on sale in September 2008. In February 2009, a new model, called Freeway will be introduced, below the current Extreme model, but with the same 60 hp (45 kW) engine. In summer 2010, the Freeway and Extreme were renamed in the UK markets to the Expression and i-Music respectively; these were given new interiors and changes to some of the exterior, including new rear bumpers and wing mirrors. A convertible version, called Wind, was launched at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show. On series 14 episode 4 of Top Gear, presenter Jeremy Clarkson did an unusual road test of the Twingo 133 on the streets of Belfast, Northern Ireland. During the segment, Clarkson drove it through a sewage tunnel in an attempt to run it upside down, which he managed to do as part of a barrel roll. After subjecting it to numerous "accidents", he raced the battered car in an attempt to catch a departing ferry, only to crash it into the ocean. On 16 March 2011, the Renault Twingo won the "best city car award" in the Parkers' New Car Awards. The current Twingo is scheduled to be facelifted in 2012. The Renault Twingo In Special Editions are :
* Twingo Renaultsport Gordini: A Twingo Renaultsport with Gordini branding available in Gordini trim level in Pearlescent Black or Malta Blue. Only 200 available in UK markets. Went on sale in the Spring/Summer of 2010.
* Twingo Gordini TCe 100: An affordable version of the RS Gordini. The Gordini 100 features the 1.2 TCe engine (as in non-Renaultsport models) and full Gordini branding, available in Pearlescent Black or Malta Blue. This model was introduced in the latter of 2010.
* Twingo Bizu: Based on the Authentique (EU)/Expression (UK)) model using the same 1.2 TCe engine. A limited edition trim featuring new front bumpers, Bluetooth and a new headunit/stereo. This model became available early 2011.