Renault holds off on electric Twingo
* New city car is designed for electrification * EV focus stays on Twizy and Zoe - for now * Firm ready to 'press the button' on project...
Renault is ready to 'press the button' on an all-electric version of its new Twingo, but the car is unlikely to appear until the end of 2015 to avoid confusion with the company's current electric-car line-up.
The new Twingo was launched at this week's Geneva motor show. It is a joint development with Daimler subsidiary Smart, and gets to a radical rear-engined, rear-wheel-drive layout.
This makes the Twingo ideally suited to an all-electric powertrain - but while Renault sources admit that the technology is basically ready to enter the final stages of development, the company wants to focus on its current EV line-up – in particular the Twizy and Zoe – before adding any models.
Renault EV boss Beatrice Foucher told What Car?, 'The electric Twingo is ready, really. I could press the button on that project today.
'However, I don't think we will do it for at least a year. We have been asking our dealers and salesmen to come up to speed on selling EVs, and we want them to focus on the potential that we already have, particularly with Zoe. That is a small urban-focused car too, so bringing Twingo along too early could cause confusion for sales staff and customers.'
Renault's partner in the project, Smart, is unlikely to be so hesitant to launch electric versions of the cars it is building on the chassis parts, the next Fortwo and Forfour. Those models are expected to make public debuts at this autumn's Paris motor show and the firm may even reveal an EV version at the same time.