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Renault introduces 3rd-gen Twingo city car

New Renault Twingo. Click to enlarge.

Renault has introduced its new, third-generation Twingo, which was developed in partnership with Daimler (earlier post). The latest generation of the city car is 10cm shorter than its predecessor, yet the interior of its cabin is 33cm longer; its turning circle is 4.30 meters (14 feet).

New Twingo comes with a choice of two three-cylinder gasoline engines (naturally aspirated or turbocharged): the 1.0L SCe 70 (along with a stop/start-equipped version) and the turbo 0.9L TCe 90. Combined cycle fuel consumption is as low as 4.2 l/100 km (56 mpg US) for the SCe 70 with stop/start.

  • SCe 70. This naturally-aspirated 999cc engine produces 70 hp (52 kW) at 6,000 rpm and peak torque of 91 N·m (67 lb-ft). Almost 90% of this figure is available from 1,000rpm, meaning gear changes need to be made less frequently while driving comfort is enhanced. Combined-cycle fuel consumption is 4.2 l/100 km (CO2 emissions of 95g/km) with Stop&Start (not available in all markets).

  • TCe 90. The 898cc turbo is already offered in the New Clio and Captur. The engine was adapted to suit New Twingo’s architecture with a re-design of 50% of its parts. Power output is 90 hp (66 kW) and peak torque is 135 N·m (100 lb-ft).

    The engine is equipped with an electric waste-gate which ensures the optimal balance between performance and low fuel consumption/CO2 emissions. Stop&Start is standard for this Euro 6b-compliant engine, while combined-cycle fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are 4.3 litres/100 km (54.7 mpg US) and 99 g/km respectively.

Both the SCe 70 and Energy TCe 90 engines are equipped with Hill Start Assist. The two engines will initially be mated to a manual five-speed gearbox, but a dual-clutch, six-speed EDC automatic transmission will become available in September 2015.

Drivers can reduce their fuel consumption by an estimated further 10% using to New Twingo’s on-board eco-driving aids: the ECO mode (Energy TCe 90 only); a gearshift indicator; and the Renault Driving eco2 feature available with the R & GO and R-Link Evolution multimedia systems.

The engine in the Twingo is tilted at an angle of 49 degrees and located in a mid-rear position, forward of the wheels, supported by a De Dion-type rear suspension arrangement. The switch to the rear has freed the MacPherson-type front suspension from numerous architectural constraints, enabling New Twingo to benefit from enhanced steering precision and more finely-calibrated power steering compared with Twingo II.

Positioning of the engine. Sound- and heat-proofing are provided by a carpet- and foam-lined metal plate beneath the trunk floor. Click to enlarge.

New Twingo’s architecture provides a balanced weight distribution (45% over the front wheels and 55% at the rear, as opposed to 70/30 in the case of a front-wheel drive vehicle).

When we developed the chassis, the objective was simple. We wanted to offer performance that was as dependable as that of a front-wheel-drive car while providing the enjoyment of rear-wheel drive motoring. In other words, we wanted a car with reassuringly easy handling for every type of driver. We are extremely satisfied with New Twingo’s precision and agility; it is a car that is genuinely suitable for everybody.

—Christian Steyer, Chief Engineer, New Twingo.

Positioning the powerplant at the rear necessitated a comprehensive re-think of the entire upper and lower sections of the engine in order to make sure it could fit beneath the trunk while at the same time providing the required ground clearance. Fifty percent of the parts had to be re-designed, including the timing cover, water and air ducting, accessory facings and exhaust system. This work allowed Renault’s engine specialists to reduce the height of the space taken up by the engine by 15 cm (6 inches).

The positioning of steering axes ahead of the front wheels and the power steering unit located on the steering rack enable the wheels to turn through 45 degrees, compared with an average of 30 degrees for the city car segment.

The Energy TCe 90 version comes with VGR steering (Variable Gear Ratio). From firm in the straight-ahead position, the ratio becomes much higher as the steering wheel is turned to deliver a combination of precision on open roads and maneuverability in built-up areas, requiring one half-turn of the steering wheel less from lock to lock compared with the SCe 70 version.

With a short hood and wide windshield, New Twingo offers a level of visibility among the best in its class, with a forward angle of vision of 12.1 degrees below the horizontal—a feature that is particularly useful when driving in town.

The new Twingo offers a reversing camera is integrated into the rear bumper. Working in tandem with the rear parking assist, its benefits are particularly appreciable in parallel parking maneuvers in town. The image is displayed on the navigation system’s screen, while drivers can also visualize their predicted course which is calculated as a function of the angle at which the steering wheel is turned.

New Twingo is also fitted with a camera mounted inside the windscreen behind the rear-view mirror and capable of detecting involuntary lane departure. When a lane-marking line is crossed without the indicators being activated, the driver is alerted by a warning light on the instrument panel accompanied by an audible beep.


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