Peugeot together with BMW, Mercedes with Renault, this is the real, living French friendship. This is how Mercedes arrived at the Citan and, the A-Class is also given the smallest Fench Diesel engine. We'll have to wait and see if this also happens with the substantially stronger Renault Twin-Turbo (see here).
Now, first of all, the smallest ones are on the cards. Here we have a nice bit of labour-dividing. The development assignment is: to fuse the elegance of Renault with the technology of the Smart. This is why we now have a Twingo with a rear-engine. What you can see above, is actually a shoot-off of the, much too early dropped, Smart-forFour. This one has considerably better start-off chances.
They are trying to sell us the new Twingo as the car with the an unbeatably small turning circle. Ok, the Japanese could have done the same thing with a front-engined car, indeed then, the turning circle could only be achieved by using a flexible drive shaft. Thus, it all happens at the rear. This would allow a luggage compartment similar to that of the Smart, after all, there's no space for anything up front. Just a awkward to move flap for refilling windshield wiper water.
It's quite surprising, that only now, in the third generation, the car has been given four doors, whereby, it's even a bit shorter than before. Of course, now the requirements are different, because it will later be coming out as a half a meter shorter, two-door version. Then it will finally be a Smart! However, the space for adults is limited to the rear seats.
A retail price tag of just under €10.000, places tight limits on any manufacturer in Europe. This means that a charger cannot be offered. The three cylinder, 1000cc engine will have to prove itself without the help of a charger. There are rumours of 48 kW (65 hp), at the moment it produces 45 kW (61 hp). Instead of the former, switching slowly automated manual five-speed transmission there is a manual, but promises a dual clutch transmission for later.
This means that it will after all, probably be the Smart engine. Will it have direct injection, like in the new Opel? The consumption will probably be reduced by almost 10%, which will make the emission of 99 grammes of CO per kilometer look pretty attractive. It will certainly be somewhat snappier in the super-charged Brabus version, which offers 66 kW (90 hp).
Whether one should criticize too early onset of ESP? The manufacturer just wants avoid a skidding rear. Much more interesting is the possible sensitivity to wind and how ESP would react. After all, the rear engine allows a loading area, although with a relatively high floor, but also stowable single seat backrests up to the dashboard. And who do not like the Twingo, the can indeed take the Smart, but at a slightly higher price. 12/14