Renault has lifted the lid on its plans to bring back the Twingo badge in the form of a small city car that CEO, Luca De Meo, claims will cost less than €20,000 (£17,000) when it goes on sale in Europe some time in 2026.
The Twingo, originally released 30 years ago, was lauded for its funky design and dinky proportions, which immediately made it a hit for inner-city motorists looking for affordable, no-frills transport.
This writer owned a second generation Renault Twingo RS (the RS stands for RenaultSport, indicating that it’s a bit feisty) and it will go down as one of the most hilarious machines I have ever owned. Although Renault hasn't yet stated whether the RS badge will return, there’s still plenty to get excited about with regards to the Kermit-faced electrified version.
Ampere is the subsidiary of Renault that will take care of the French marque's electrification and technology from now on (more on that below). And it's aiming for best-in-class efficiency, with a target of 10kWh/100km, despite goals to make it 20 per cent smaller than the average European car.
What's more, the list price is pegged at €20,000 (£17,000) before subsidies, making it one of the most affordable EVs on the market, while leasing targets have been set at under €100 per month.
Renault Group CEO, Luca De Meo, also recognised the threat from Chinese OEMs when making his address at the Capital Markets Day, stating that "we will develop (Twingo) in the record time of two years – from concept to start the production – matching the speed of the Chinese OEMs".
Renault also used the stage to lay out the lofty targets set for Ampere, which will result in a product line-up of seven electric vehicles by 2031, including Megane E-Tech, Scenic E-Tech, Renault 5, Renault 4, Twingo and two additional vehicles.
Ampere will also work on additional projects within the Renault Nissan Alliance, such as upcoming Alpine electric sports cars, Nissan products and Mitsubishi Motors.
What's more, news of the electrified Twingo comes after the French marque announced it would also resurrect another legend in the shape of the Renault 5, claiming at today's Capital Markets Day that a final production version of that eagerly anticipated EV would be revealed at the 2024 Geneva Motor show.
All about Ampere
Renault announced the launch of its Ampere subdivision at the beginning of November, stating that it would be "a driving force of Renault Group's transformation".
It will focus purely on electric vehicles and software, while taking a "unique horizontal approach" based on partnerships with Google and Qualcomm Technologies to save time and cost.
Luca de Meo, Chief Executive Officer of Renault Group said that it would offer "an advanced Android-based software suite" to future Renault customers.
The targets are lofty, with the main aim to reach EV/ICE price parity ahead of the competition, including cheaper options from China. To do this, it has a clear roadmap to "40 per cent cost reduction by 2027/2028 between the first and second generation of C-segment electric vehicles".
"Ampere is an ambitious, holistic, and structural response of the European industry to the challenges coming from East and West," said Luca de Meo.
"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.
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