Re­nault Twingo

Macclesfield Express - - MOTORING -

RE­NAULT’S lat­est baby, the rear-en­gined Twingo, cer­tainly has the cute fac­tor... but there is much more to this clever lit­tle car.

Launched last Septem­ber and now start­ing to ap­pear on our roads in some num­bers, this is the third gen­er­a­tion of the French car maker’s small­est model – and the first all-new rear-en­gined car from Re­nault for many years.

Why put the en­gine in the back? Well, if it is done right you get bet­ter grip with the weight of the en­gine over the rear driven wheels, the lighter front end means more ag­ile steer­ing and a tighter turn­ing cir­cle, the en­gine needs less space, so more room for pas­sen­gers and with en­gine and ex­haust as far away from the driver as pos­si­ble you get a qui­eter car to drive.

Our test car was the top-of-the-range Dy­namique EN­ERGY with the TCe 90 en­gine with stop start tech­nol­ogy.

There are two brand new en­gines on of­fer, our car’s smaller but more pow­er­ful 900cc turbo-charged unit and a nor­mally-as­pi­rated 1.0-litre petrol. The for­mer puts out 90bhp and the 1.0-litre is 70.

So thanks to that rear en­gine de­sign and a rea­son­able amount of power our TCe 90 is great fun to drive, be­ing quite nippy with good han­dling. Per­for­mance fig­ures are 0-62 in 10.8 seconds and the top speed is 103 mph.

As you would ex­pect from a small city car, fuel con­sump­tion is ex­cel­lent with more than 72 mpg on a run and almost 58 around town. Inside it is all very mod­ern. Stan­dard fea­tures in­clude hill start as­sist, tyre pres­sure mon­i­tor­ing, elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol and DAB ra­dio. Our test car had a few ex­tras, in­clud­ing smart 15in ‘Ex­cep­tion’ al­loy wheels, air con­di­tion­ing and cruise con­trol.

It’s as cool and cute as a Fiat 500 but with more room and the prac­ti­cal­ity of five doors – looks like Re­nault could be onto a win­ner.

The new Twingo is avail­able in three trim lev­els and is priced from £9,495.

●● The new Re­nault Twingo

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