Renault Twingo History

The Renault Twingo small city car was first unveiled in 1992 at the Paris Motor Show, before going on sale in Europe in 1993. The unusual ‘Twingo’ name comes from the combination of three different words – twist, swing and tango.

The first generation Twingo car was designed by a team lead by French car maker Renault’s chief designer Patrick le Quement. Looking at previous failures and falling market share for the brand, Le Quement designed this car based on the philosophy that it would be a greater risk for Renault to take no risks at all. The exterior design of the first Twingo cars resembled the 1982 Polish prototype Beskid, which the car’s monobox silhouette is said to be derived from.

The second generation model was first unveiled at the Mondial de l’Automobile in 2006 as a concept car, and then at the Geneva Motor Show in 2007 in its production form, before going on sale for the first time later in 2007. This newer version of the car is based on the floorpan of the Clio Mark II and features substantially increased body strength and therefore better crash protection.

The second generation model went on sale in France, Italy and Slovenia first, in June 2007, before being rolled out across the rest of Europe (including the United Kingdom) in September of that year. The second generation model did not get a particularly warm reception from the automotive press in the United Kingdom, with many reviewers describing it as uninspired and unadventurous in its design compared to the original model which had broken the mould in many ways.

A new Twingo Renaultsport model was announced by the firm in January 2008. This performance oriented version of the car is fitted with a 1,598 cc 133 bhp engine and comes with distinctive Renaultsport styling treatments. This version of the car got its global debut at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show and went out to the first customers later that year.