Renault to pitch UK Twingo as sporty hatch, not entry-level model
Renault’s second-generation Twingo will make its UK debut in September – but it won’t be Renault’s entry model. Renault isn’t pitching Twingo as a cheap car in eth UK – instead it’ll be billed as a sporty hatchback with a range of just two models – the GT and Dynamique, with 75bhp and 100bhp 1.2-litre petrol engines. These will be followed by a Renault Sport version, along the lines of the Twingo concept shown at the Paris Show last October. But there won’t be a diesel, and basic models offered on the continent won’t be sold in the UK – for now at least. Instead Twingo will be ‘customisable’ with racy graphics that customers can add.
That will leave the old-style Clio Campus as Renault’s price leader until 2009 at least. The old-shape Clio has been selling so well that five-door production has been revived alongside three-door versions at Renault’s Novo Mesto plant in Slovenia – also the production site for the new Twingo.
Twingo will be priced around £8,500 in the UK – it fits between city cars such as the Toyota Aygo and superminis such as Clio – in fact at 3.6m it’s 20cm longer than an Aygo and 20cm shorter than a Clio. Its most obvious competitor is Citroen’s C2, though Renault is hoping to give it broader appeal to older customers as well as 25-35s.
Renault’s other Geneva unveiling was the Clio Grand Tour concept – a longer (4.2m), three-door version of the current Clio that forms the basis of the planned Clio estate, due in early 2008. This will be a more traditional five-door model, sharing doors and wheelbase with the five-door Clio hatch, but with an extended body.
Renault UK spokesman Mike Gale said the UK distributor had “modest ambitions” for the Clio estate, which would likely be called Clio Sport Tourer in line with Renault branding on other wagon versions. “We don’t believe it will cannibalise Modus sales as it’s aimed at younger buyers,” he added.