Renault’s Twingo exists in this world to spread delight, a common but friendly car for the masses to twist, swing and tango. It’s also now reported to be dead.
The Twingo was introduced in 1992. Currently in its third generation, the Twingo got a fully electric version last year, but that wasn’t enough to save it.
Via Le Monde and Google Translate this week:
The third generation of Twingo, which has just won an electric version in December 2020, will therefore be the last. “Renault will abandon the A segment,” or small city cars, explained the general manager of the car manufacturer, Luca de Meo. “It becomes very difficult to make profitable a gasoline model 3.60 meters long,” he said.
What de Meo means is that automakers don’t make *enough* money selling small cars, which I thought was only a thing in the U.S. Apparently Europe suffers from the same disease. De Meo also blamed upcoming European Union emissions rules and the fact that Daimler and Renault’s tie-up is changing.
“It’s a shame to abandon this type of vehicle but small combustion-powered cars will disappear because of the rules of the game,” said Luca de Meo. These “rules of the game”, called into question by the management of Renault, are those of the European Commission which could put a new brake on thermal vehicles with its future Euro 7 standard, from 2025. The French manufacturer is Preparing for it: in presenting its strategic plan for the coming years, on January 14, the group’s new CEO indicated that Renault was targeting 65% of electrics and hybrids in its range in 2025.
The Twingo also suffers from the end of Renault’s partnership with Daimler, producer of the Smart: produced in Slovenia, the city car shares many components with the Smart Fortwo and Forfour. “We are not able to make such a model on our own,” explains Mr. de Meo.
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The third generation being the final generation means that Renault could still sell the Twingo for another year or more, but the Euro 7 standards kicking in for 2025 make that feel like the final-final deadline.
Nearly four million Twingos have been sold since its introduction, which means that you can expect a lot of them to persist on the used market — like in Germany, where my colleague David Tracy saw many a dirt-cheap Twingo last year.
I’ll take one Twin’Run please.
Or any first-generation Twingo that runs.