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Renault : The New Twingo

Launched in April 1993, the Renault Twingo today reaches another stage in its history. To go on sale from September 2000, the New Twingo represents a particularly notable step forward in terms of both technical development and of equipment.

Even more comfortable, it will also be better balanced, will enjoy better roadholding, improved stability, more capable power assisted steering, and longer-lasting brakes of higher performance. With its more elegant and refined appearance, both inside and outside, the New Twingo will make travelling more enjoyable. Often copied, but never equalled, the Twingo now raises still higher the standards which its competitors will have to face.

From the moment of its launch, the Twingo proved a great success and has become more than ever the benchmark among small city cars. In the first five months of the year 2000, it was the third best-selling model in France in the small car segment, taking a 9.2% share, behind its sister model the Clio (21.2%) and the Peugeot 206 (20.6%).

Its real competitors, such as the Ford Ka, the Daewoo Matiz, the Fiat Seicento, the Volkswagen Lupo and the Seat Arosa, were situated respectively in 12th, 16th, 17th, 18th and 22nd position with market segment shares of 1.3%, 0.6%, 0.5%, 0.4% and 0.3%. This domination was just as strong in Europe as a whole, with the Twingo taking 3.5% and 10th place in the segment, ahead of the Fiat Seicento (11th place), the Ford Ka (12th place), the Daewoo Matiz (16th place), the Volkswagen Lupo (18th place) and the Seat Arosa (22nd place).

By virtue of its redesigned chassis, its improved braking system and its more comprehensive equipment list, the New Twingo is seeking to achieve three objectives :

  • improved active and passive safety,

  • greater driving pleasure,

to create a new "aesthetic" reaction, principally through the use of new colours and trim materials. Improved active and passive safety

The safety specification of the New Twingo has been set at the highest level. The Twingo 2 already possessed a body structure with programmed deformation and the Renault Protection System (RPS) which includes front safety belts equipped with pretensioners, load limiters built into the front and rear safety belts, programmed-retention front airbags with controlled deflation, and close-coupled front head restraints.

The New Twingo goes even further in its pursuit of safety and adds to these features a completely redesigned chass, higher-performance brakes, and an even more complete list of safety equipment.

New chassis

Where chassis design is concerned, the New Twingo is now equipped with a solid 17mm front anti-roll bar, attached to its longerons. The diameter of the existing solid rear anti-roll bar has been increased from 17 to 21mm. These changes have been made to improve the car's behaviour even in the most demanding hands.

For the same reason, the damper settings have been revised to achieve the best possible compromise between comfort and roadholding.

Finally, the wheel diameter has been increased from 13 to 14 inches across the whole range. In the same way, the 155/70-13 tyre size has given way to lower profile 155/65-14 tyres which provide the car with better roadholding and stability.

New braking system

This is one of the most important features of the New Twingo. Increasing the wheel diameter has also allowed the installation of larger brake discs at the front, and larger drums at the rear. Thus all versions of the New Twingo are equipped with ventilated 259 x 20 mm front discs in place of 238 x 12 mm plain discs, while rear drum diameter is increased from 177 to 203 mm. The use of larger-diameter and ventilated front discs has significantly increased braking endurance.

An important improvement has also been made in brake servo assistance. This has been increased by 15% to offer better braking comfort. ABS has been made standard equipment in the New Twingo, providing it with safer braking in all circumstances. The system is complemented by an EBV (Electronic Brake Variation) function which controls the rearward distribution of braking effort.

Together, these improvements allow the New Twingo to demonstrate stopping distances of 40 metres from 100 to 0 km/hour in braking tests (AMS type tests with the vehicle fully loaded). Such performance is rare in cars in this segment.

Superior dynamic comfort

Where steering is concerned, the (electric) degree-of-assistance laws have also been changed. The new assistance settings allow better control of the car at all speeds and in all circumstances by providing more even and better graduated assistance.

Greater travelling pleasure

The New Twingo is the first Renault to be equipped with a key-operated passenger airbag inhibitor. The switch is housed on the right hand side of the dashboard and the deactivation of the airbag is signalled by an "Airbag Off" indicator on the instrument panel. The main advantage of this provision is that the airbag can be disconnected when carrying a child in the front passenger seat.

The automatic door locking system with the car in movement (CAR - Condamnation Automatique en Roulant), already available in the Clio, Mégane and Scénic is now available on the New Twingo. The system works in the following manner : it locks the car's doors and rear hatch as soon as the speed exceeds 7km/hour. The aim of the system is to provide total protection both for occupants and for objects carried in the cabin or the luggage compartment (aggression, handbag snatching, etc.). The locking is cancelled whenever one of the doors is opened from the inside, but is reactivated after an engine restart. The system can be activated or deactivated at will by pressing the central locking button for 5 seconds.

Finally, the seats of the New Twingo now feature a lower cushion and their comfort has been improved. A height-adjustable driver's seat is also available according to version.

12-year anti-corrosion guarantee

Following the Mégane family, the New Twingo, equipped with a fully galvanised subframe, offers a 12-year anti-corrosion guarantee.

New external appearance features

The exterior design of the New Twingo retains its original timeless aspect. Even so, its looks have been freshened and renewed thanks to new smooth-cover headlamps and front fog lamps in polycarbonate. Their complex surface reflector provides improved lighting. This material also affords the advantage of greater resistance to impact and to scratching.

The old wheel trims and wheels have been replaced by "Ursa" wheel trims and by "Hydra" alloy wheels.

The body-coloured bumpers now become standard, and power-operated and demisted door mirrors are standard from mid-range versions upwards.

So far as body colours are concerned, 9 colours are available, of which 2 are new and exclusive to the Twingo : Vibrato Blue and Cherish Red.

New interior design features

The interior design has seen several changes which accentuate the car's personality.

New trim materials designated "Sparkling" cloth and "Changing" velour are now associated with different body colours. In addition, with the Privilège trim level, the customer can, for the first time, choose the colour of velour (red or blue) to blend with the body colour.

The centre console has also been redesigned, with the appearance of cupholders (except in the automatic transmission version) and a gear lever gaiter.

The instrument panel incorporates new control pushbuttons in a translucent red colour.

The door panels have also been given a new look, giving the cabin interior a softer appearance. They now feature a textile or leather insert and incorporate two loudspeakers. In addition, thanks to their new design, they benefit from greater storage volume.

Clearly improved acoustic comfort

The acoustic comfort of the New Twingo has been improved. These improvements have been enabled by the following changes :

Where the power unit is concerned, better soundproofing has been achieved by adding absorbent material to the bulkhead and the bonnet. At 50 kph, there is an average improvement of 3 dBA, representing a 50% improvement compared with the previous version.

The reduction of aerodynamic noise and of booming has been achieved particularly with the aid of body-mounted double door seals.

Finally, the hi-fi system now incorporates two extra speakers in the door panels, as well as two tweeters in the dashboard to improve sound quality. The 4 loudspeakers are coupled to a new digital system, which contributes to the achievement of more realistic sound of better quality. This new digital hi-fi system (Radiosat 3000 cassette RDS 2x15W in the Privilege version and Radiosat 6000 CD RDS 2x15W in the Initiale version) also offers greater simplicity, notably thanks to the Speed Volume function (the automatic adjustment of sound level according to speed) and improved operating ergonomics. Its new and more elegant facia is designed to blend with the rest of the driving position.

A new satellite navigation system (GPS)

Following the Scénic, Safrane and Espace, it is now the Twingo's turn to be equipped with a satellite navigation system. This GPS, offered as an option on the Privilege and Initiale versions, forms part of a Radio-CD unit developed in partnership with the specialist company Becker.

Despite its conventional car radio format, this system is able to display a simplified plan and also offers some of the functions available with the GPS Carminat system fitted to other Renault models, including : voice synthesis, automatic calculation of a new route in case of a change in direction, and the visualisation of street names or of a list of addresses. Its design allows it access to the cartography of 12 countries of western Europe stored on a single CD-Rom.

Offered as an option, this system replaces the existing radio installation. The customer benefits from navigation assistance provided by a disc-accepting audio unit with 2x18W output, so that the radio or a CD can be played with guidance. This feature is unique at this market level.

Completely restructured range

The higher equipment standard of the New Twingo is offered in a range of four versions of which three are new. These new versions, Authentique, Expression and Privilege, lead up to the top-range version, the Initiale. The availability of the New Twingo features and equipment is structured within these different finish levels as follows.

July 17, 2000                                                                   Source : Renault

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