Sneaker peek

Get set for Re­nault’s Twingo, a baby car from the group’s funky de­signer fa­mous for his colour­ful footwear

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News - Paul Gover

A TID­DLER tease has reignited spec­u­la­tion about an Aus­tralian fu­ture for the Re­nault Twingo.

The French baby car is set for re­newal in late 2014 and Re­nault is tick­ling the world with a cou­ple of con­cepts be­fore re­veal­ing the real car later this year, most likely at Septem­ber’s Frank­furt mo­tor show.

The first preview car is called Twin’Z and looks re­mark­ably close to how the Twingo could be­come next year, pro­vided you strip the con­cept back to its ba­sic shape.

The sec­ond preview will come at the Monaco grand prix later this month.

‘‘ The idea is to show two dif­fer­ent treat­ments of a small car. The first has an en­vi­ron­men­tal fo­cus and the sec­ond is a sporty fo­cus,’’ says Re­nault Aus­tralia spokes­woman Em­i­lie Am­brosy. ‘‘ Th­ese are con­cept cars. But in re­cent times Re­nault’s con­cept cars have been close to pro­duc­tion cars, such as the Cap­tur.’’

The new look and new ap­proach to the Twingo is giv­ing Re­nault, un­der its ag­gres­sive new lead­er­ship, the chance to re­assess its po­ten­tial for Aus­tralia. And the early point­ers hint at an over­due goa­head as sales of baby cars con­tinue to grow.

‘‘ We’re look­ing at the next gen­er­a­tion of sub-light cat­e­gory cars be­cause we see the Twingo has po­ten­tial,’’ says Am­brosy.

‘‘ But it has to be the right car, with the right spec­i­fi­ca­tion, at the right price.’’

The Twingo con­cept cars are part of a new de­sign drive at Re­nault that’s com­ing from funky style leader Lau­rens van den Acker. At Mazda, he cre­ated the cur­rent Mazda3, and is well known for his crazy range of cus­tom-made sneak­ers in out­ra­geous styles and colours.

He has laid out a life­cy­cle for Re­nault and the fifth petal of the flower-shaped pro­gram is fun-play, which sits well with the Twingo teas­ing.

The new Twingo is part of a joint de­vel­op­ment pro­gram with Daim­ler.

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