Renault to cut development time for new electric Twingo

Renault's EV division Ampere has begun development of the new electric Twingo. According to an agency report, the design has been finalised, and series production will start in Slovenia in 2026. The company is thus giving itself just three years until the electric Twingo hits the road.

Image: Renault

Renault wants to stay below the €20,000 price mark with its new small electric car and unveiled a study for the model in November. Since then, it has been clear that although the compact electric car was initially labelled a “Legend,” it is actually an electric Twingo – with many design references to the first Twingo generation from the 1990s. However, the prototype has virtually nothing in common with the current Twingo generation, which still shares the platform with the now-discontinued Smart Forfour, apart from its compact format.

According to Reuters, Ampere finalised the new model’s design last week and will now begin selecting suppliers, building prototypes and preparing for production. This is based on information from internal company sources. According to the latter, series production of the new electric Twingo will kick off at the Slovenian plant in Novo Mesto in 2026. That would give Renault a development period of just three years. At the presentation of the electric R5 scheduled for 2024 a few weeks ago, the French company already mentioned that it had accelerated the development of its vehicles: The electric Megane was developed in four years, and the electric R5 in three.

In order to speed up the market launch of the new electric Twingo, the company will use 20 per cent fewer parts, more standard components and, above all, products that can be sourced from suppliers, as Gilles Le Borgne, head of the technology department at Renault, recently told the French newspaper Les Echos.

A few months ago, Renault Germany wrote on social media that the new EV small car would “revive a third icon after the R5 and R4.” For the electric Twingo study, designers took numerous elements from the first Twingo from the 1990s – from the short, steeply sloping front end with the air intakes at the top of the passenger side to the shape of the headlights and the round door handles. One difference: unlike Generation 1, the new Twingo will be a five-door model.

It is also noticeable that the electric Twingo study picks up on several design features from the R5. Both come in bright colours, follow the “humanisation” approach (for example, with headlights modelled after eyes) and have a charge indicator instead of an air intake on the bonnet to see the battery charge level from the outside. In the electric R5, this feature even made it into the series version.

It is not yet clear which platform the electric Twingo will be based on. The R5 is based on the new Group platform AmpR Small (previously known as CMF-BEV) – a purely electric car architecture for the B-segment. Renault is said to be considering working with VW to offer the small EV at a base price of less than 20,000 euros. The German carmaker is pursuing the same price target with its electrically powered small car model announced for 2027. Reuters reports that a decision on a collaboration is “expected in the coming months.”

VW and Renault did not comment on possible talks but did not deny them either. When the French portal L’Argus wrote at the end of November that Renault was considering cooperation with Smart for its upcoming Twingo Electric for under 20,000 euros, the French company said this was not the case.

One thing is clear: as mentioned, Renault intends to launch the all-electric R5 in 2024, with the R4 (the concept car still bears the name “4EVER”) set to follow in 2025. And if the timetable for the new electric Twingo holds, it will join it in 2026. Ampere is planning a total of seven electric models by 2031, of which around one million vehicles will be produced each year. Ampere expects to achieve price parity with vehicles with combustion engines by 2027/2028 with the second generation of the Megane E-Tech Electric and Scenic E-Tech Electric, with margins remaining the same.


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