Superminis: Renault

  • New cars coming in 2012
  • Superminis revealed today
  • More throughout the week
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Renault Clio
What is it? Fourth-generation, five-door-only supermini
Price from 10,500 (est)
On sale November

Renault is launching some exciting electric cars during 2012, but the all-new Clio will be its most important model of the year. The fourth-generation supermini is due to make its official debut at the Paris motor show in September, and go on sale in November.

The Clio will have a more aggressive look than the Zoe EV, which is a similar size but will be available with an electric powertrain only. For the first time, the Clio is expected to be a five-door model only, even in high-performance Renaultsport Clio form. Styling tricks will create a three-door look.

Renault insiders say the front of the car is heavily influenced by the bold DeZir concept car. They have also hinted at much-improved interior quality.

The Clio will stick with conventional petrol and diesel engines, but the addition of engine stop-start systems should reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

Renault Twingo
What is it? Renaults baby gets the new family look
Price from 7800 (est)
On sale January

The updated Twingo will be the first model to carry Renaults new design identity.

New headlights, foglights and a new grille give the Twingo a more playful look. The rear has a curvier bumper, a new tailgate and new lights. There are also numerous options to personalise the car inside and out.

The engine line-up will remain the same as the current cars, with 1.2-litre petrols of either 75 or 99bhp to choose from. The Renaultsport version will have a 131bhp 1.6, as before. Prices could be slightly lower than the current models.

Renault Zoe
What is it? Supermini opens up EVs to a whole new market
Price from 12,000 (est)
On sale October

Renaults Zoe will be the cheapest mainstream electric vehicle on sale when the Clio-sized five-door hatchback arrives in October although whats expected to be a cheap on-sale price (around 12,000, or less than half the cost of a Nissan Leaf) will be offset by the need to lease the batteries at an extra cost of around 70 per month.

Weve driven a hand-built prototype and it was peppy, good fun and, of course, totally silent. Theres as much practicality as any modern supermini, with room for four and a decent boot.