The Renault Twingo will be reborn as an affordable electric city car with a starting price under £17,000, the French manufacturer has announced.
The quirky compact car that was first launched in Europe in 1992 will be reborn as a major rival to Chinese brands as Renault looks to stir up competition at the budget end of the electric vehicle (EV) market.
Luca de Meo, Renault’s chief executive, unveiled the car in concept form during a presentation in Paris, promising it will deliver ‘best-in-class efficiency’ when it goes on sale in 2026.
Here’s what we know about it so far…
Renault Twingo to be reborn as an affordable EV for 2026: Prices will start from under under €20,000 (around £17,000) without grants and incentives, boss Luca de Meo promised at the concept’s reveal in Paris on Wednesday (pictured)
Price is certainly the biggest talking point of the new Twingo, with Renault execs guaranteeing it will start from under €20,000 (around £17,000) without grants and incentives.
For customers using finance, it should be available from less than €100 per month (approximately £87).
That could make it the cheapest passenger EV on the market, though Dacia’s new Spring EV arriving in the UK next year is also predicted to be priced around the same.
It will sit below the new all-electric Renault 5 hatchback and Renault 4 compact SUV – both due around 2025 – in the brand’s new-look battery-powered line-up.
A newly-formed spin-off design team will fast-track its development from its current concept form to a full-production car to be built in Europe in just two years, matching the progression of Chinese rivals, de Meo said.
He added that the next-generation Twingo will ‘be a game changer once again like it was 30 years ago’ and promises it to be a ‘fit for purpose urban vehicle, state-of-the-art EV with no compromise’ that will be around 20 per cent smaller than models that currently sit in the smallest passenger car segment.
He said it will be a ‘silver bullet for sustainability mobility’ and a key product in the car maker’s quest for an affordable EV.
Bosses said it should be available on finance for less than €100 per month (approximately £87), making it an affordable option
The Twingo will sit below the new all-electric Renault 5 hatchback (left) and Renault 4 compact SUV (right) – both due around 2025 – in the brand’s new-look battery-powered line-up
Renault’s design team will fast-track its development from the current concept form to a full-production car that will be built in Europe in just two years to match Chinese rivals
De Meo told those in attendance at the Capital Markets Day event hosted in Boulogne-Billancourt – one of the wealthiest and most prestigious communes in Paris – that the Twingo EV will offer 6.2 miles per kWh and, over its lifetime, produce 75 per cent less CO2 emissions than the average European car with a combustion engine sold in 2023.
In terms of looks, the concept harks back to the original Twingo launched in 1992 – a car that was sold in mainland Europe but not introduced to the UK market with its steering wheel on the right-hand-side.
Britain’s had to wait until the arrival of the second-generation in 2006 if they wanted to get their hands on a Twingo, while the mk3 version remains on sale today with the unique selling point of having its engine at the rear under the boot floor.
The mk1 Twingo – on which the concept is loosely based – was fondly remembered by Parisian owners for its Tardis-like packaging, with a relatively spacious interior for such compact, city-friendly dimensions.
The design of the Twingo EV concept shares the mk1 car’s headlight shape and the three-slot air vent in the bonnet
The diminutive Renault Twingo 1 was launched in France and mainland Europe in 1992 but was never offered in the UK market
The mk1 Twingo was fondly remembered by French owners for its Tardis-like packaging, with a relatively spacious interior for such compact dimensions, as showcased here in the ‘Sumo edition’
During a presentation in Paris on Wednesday afternoon, de Meo said Twingo will ‘be a game changer once again like it was 30 years ago’
Twingo will be a ‘fit for purpose urban vehicle, state-of-the-art EV with no compromise’ that will be around 20% smaller than current models in the segment
Styling wise, the concept carries-over a few touches from the early nineties car, including oval headlights – this time in LED-strip form – and the three air scoops in the bonnet lid.
Those vents were designed to cool the Twingo’s hard-working small engines, which ranged from 1.0 to 1.2-litres in capacity in the original car. They won’t have the same purpose for an EV that’s likely to have a battery pack in the floor.
While the car will carry its familiar Renault badge, it will be designed, engineered and produced by Ampere – a new division confirmed at the event today that will focus primarily on small EVs.
Speaking ahead of the reveal of the new Twingo concept, de Meo said: ‘In the true spirit of Renault, Ampere is engineered to make electric and connected cars affordable for all, addressing the imperatives of energy transition and seizing the growth opportunities on the market.’
He added: ‘The uniqueness of Ampere is based on an open and horizontal approach with best-in-class partners, ensuring low-risk, flexibility, and smart capital allocation to navigate a fast changing and competitive environment.’
Some links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on them we may earn a small commission. That helps us fund This Is Money, and keep it free to use. We do not write articles to promote products. We do not allow any commercial relationship to affect our editorial independence.