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Sunday 20 August 2017

MEET the all-new Twingo ... THE REAR-ENGINED, REAR WHEEL DRIVE, FOUR-DOOR SUPERMINI

Twingo
Twingo

I could have been forgiven for thinking I was at the wrong car launch.

As soon as the dust covers came off, I had to double-check the invitation to make sure we'd got the right marque.

You see, the new Renault Twingo is a dead-ringer for its Italian rival - the FIAT 500.

So much so that it even has the engine in the back.

But it's all an illusion - a Gallic sleight of hand, as it were, because this funky little city car actually has four doors.

It's also bigger than the out-going model too, offering an extra 33cm more cabin space and a longer wheelbase (12cms), even though the total length has been shortened by 10cms.

It has taken supermini practically to a whole new level, with a 188-litre boot that can be extended to 980 litres with the 50:50 split folding rear seats down.

It can even accommodate long loads of up to 2.31 metres thanks to a folding front passenger seat.

But first and foremost this funky little car is about fun, and even the name Twingo - a combination of twist, swing and tango - is sure to get your toe tapping.

It looks awesome too, with a huge array of personalisation options for what Renault hopes will be young first-time buyers.

Now in its third generation, the new model will come in three trim levels - Expression, Dynamique and Play.

All versions come with body-coloured bumpers, door handles, mirror casings, rear spoiler and LED daytime running lights. Inside you'll get electric front windows, speed limiter, gear change indicator, tyre pressure monitor and Hill Start Assist.

Connectivity is standard across the range as well, with Renault's smartphone-operated R & GO system - a simple app gives you access to sat nav, telephone and music streaming.

The Dynamique version offers a tablet-style R-Link multi-media system with a seven-inch touchscreen with voice control that has TomTom navigation, Bluetooth and rear parking camera.

It will be powered by two new engines with "substantial improvements in fuel economy and emissions" - the 70bhp unit returning 67mpg (4.2 l/100km and 95 g/km of CO2) for the 1.0-litre Dynamique SCe 70 model with Stop & Start.

This means the car can travel 22.5km farther on every gallon of fuel while emitting 35 g/km less CO2.

The Expression and Play SCe 70 versions, without Stop & Start, are almost as frugal, returning 62mpg (4.5 l/100km) while CO2 emissions are 105 g/km.

The top-of-the-range Dynamique TCe 90bhp version, powered by a 900cc turbocharged engine (0-100 in 10 seconds and top speed of 165km/h) also sips the juice with figures of 67mpg (4.3 l/100km) and a CO2 count of only 99 g/km.

Not only does it look mega, it's very keenly priced. The entry-level Expression kicks off at €13,990 while the mid-range Dynamique is €15,590. The top-end model is €16,590.

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