So, what exactly do they use the space under the flap at the front for, if not as a luggage compartment? Fuel tank? Somewhere to smuggle gold bullion and cocaine? Or just to store very smelly French cheese?
Forget the Renault Twingo. That was not the car you were looking for. The new Twingo, on the other hand, now that’s a different matter. The original Twingo has a strong place in French affection. Pic: Simon Rockman You see, when Renault initially launched the Twingo, it had a bit of a 2CV vibe going: it was cute, Gallic and …
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We used to drive a Matiz, and if you took the (anemic, 3 cylinder, 1000 cc) engine out of that, but left everything else, you would probably only have room for 1 bag from Tescos. Shrink the space slightly and it's gone.
You still, after all, need to package bigger wheel arches, suspension components, all the fluid bottles, the radiator, the battery, the ECU, a few pumps and plenty of plumbing. All of which add up to substantially more space than the engine itself.
This was why big Citroens used to be handy.
Yes, the BX also had a ridiculously low air intake, but until they axe the top spec C5 big Citroens traditionally allowed the driver to raise the suspension, making mincemeat of large puddles.
Mind I had a Celica with a very low radiator though, first stonechip it got and it was leaking like an iCloud.
Less efficacious, less power, less torque, and a low top speed that will probably be scary on a UK motorway and outright terrifying on a German Autobahn as there can't be much acceleration left by the time you're doing 65-70mph.
The only group where it might make sense are young drivers, and you don't buy a brand-new car for a teenager unless you've more money than sense, in which case you'd buy the bigger one anyway and to hell with the higher premiums.
Normally rear wheel drive is better in snow, because of the better weight distribution and you aren't trying to put all the power through the wheels that are doing the steering. 4 wheel drive is better still.
I certainly didn't have any problems with the BMW rental I had in Munich when it snowed.
Having winter tyres is important though. No car handles well on snow with summer tyres.
quote: "Normally rear wheel drive is better in snow
Tyres, tyres, tyres. I understand your incredulousness regarding RWD in snow, however the drivetrain is less important than the snow:car interface (aka tyre) as far as available traction is concerned. FWD just means you understeer when you lose grip at the drive wheels, RWD will oversteer when you lose grip at the drive wheels, and AWD might do either depending on how the center differential is set up to deal with loss of traction at one axle (some vehicles have a front bias and thus tend to understeer etc.).
The most important part of driving in the snow is driving appropriately for the conditions, but a close second is using snow tyres. Thinner tyres are "better" (unintuitively) as they concentrate the vehicle mass on a smaller area, allowing the sipes on the tyres to bite better.
I ran my Shogun in RWD mode last winter, as the comedy 30" M&S (mud and snow) tyres were gripping fine for the speeds I was comfortable doing, and thus I never felt the need to switch to 4WD mode. A work colleague even ran his XKR with proper winter tyres (Bridgestone Blizzaks IIRC) and also had few issues, although I'm pretty sure he also uses different wheels to ensure he can get tyres that actually fit ^^;
You seem to have the wrong idea about German Autobahns. Most people seem to drive between 100 and 130km/h (60 to ~75mph). Some people do drive faster, although large parts of the network now have speed restriction of under 70mph, as they need to be repaired or due heavy traffic.
Around here, the A2 to Hamburg is limited to 120km/h during the day for most of the way (and HGVs can't overtake) as it is the main route to and from the ports where HGVs are loaded and unloaded.
The original Twingo has always been very popular here, it is still a very sought after car and holds its price well - the second version doesn't seem to be as popular though. The old Twingo is great fun to drive, but very basic.
The original Twingo was a great little runaround, great fun to drive and very practical. The Twingo II was even more fun, as it had sportier engine options, and lost little of the practicality. With this, it would appear that Renault have given up on the whole idea of Twingo, and decided to make Fiat 500s, or as the article notes, Smart Forfours.
As someone who has owned both previous iterations of the Twingo, I think I'll be passing on this, even as a first car for the kids, I'd just buy an 2nd hand, original Twingo.
Almost certainly this will get sportier engines - don't forget the Twingo II was launched with just a couple of semi-asthmatic petrol engines and a slow diesel one. The warm and hot versions came later.
I'm looking forwards to trying one of these. The whole FF layout was all about safety as even an original Fiat 500 or 126 could end up in a nasty/embarrassing spin in the wrong circumstances (I had a rear puncture in a 126 as it was turning a corner - ended up facing the other way as the front spun round). It's a shame there's no front space - I assume this is again due to crash protection
Do wish with we'd got the original in the UK. I occasionally look for a second hand one over here but they command high prices and tend to be suffering from bad rust.
Renault have played with the idea of a hot version in the Block Racers video, and bear in mind the Clio V6 was a 'silly engineering concept' before someone accidentally made it a production vehicle, so while I don't have much hope, I have some.
Chances are it'll have overservo'd brakes, numb electric steering and ESP and ASC and all the other fun-killing TLAs, however, which would sort of negate the whole idea of having a farily powerful rear engine rear drive car with a short wheelbase for those of us who like a challenge, but can't quite afford either a 911, or enough modifications to make a Smart ForTwo spin it's tyres....
Not being rude, but how are you going to get a "sportier" engine in there? There really doesn't look like any room unless a boot-free version (like those Fiat 500s with a Coventry pump engine) is likely to sell. And if there's room, there's still the heat problem. Rear engines have a problem with exhaust positioning now you need catalytic converters.
I wonder if this was going to be an electric car right up till the battery technology didn't happen?
Coventry pump engine? I think you're getting mixed up. Racing Fiat 500's (And 600's)with the (Rear) bonnet propped open had Abarth tuned Fiat engines stretched up to 695cc and beyond. The Coventry Climax ex WW2 fire pump engine powered lots of 50's racing cars and also found a home in the 60's Hillman Imp, a British rear engined production car. The Cooper car company used the front chassis components of 2 pre-war Fiat 500's to make their (500cc motor cycle) rear engined racing cars made famous by Stirling Moss et al
Yes, the racing Fiat 500s had an Abarth modified engine and the rear lid had to be held open. But I have seen a road going Fiat 500 which the owner - a mechanical engineer - said had the Coventry engine. From your comment I suppose it must have been Imp based. The boot lid was roughly in the position of the wing on certain 911s. It was pretty quick away from the lights but top speed was determined by stability - and wasn't very high.
The clever folks at BRABUS can tune the smart rear engines to produce 120HP (or possibly even more), and the ew ForFour is the same basic platform as the Twingo III. And the folks at RenaultSport are not slouches either when it comes to tweaking engines.
I think the best thing to do is wait and see.
This article mentioned the VW Up!.
And it mentioned th Ford Ecoboost 1.0, as used in assorted small Fords I believe to include such as the current Fiesta and Ka.
It mentioned the 'manic Fiat Twin-Air', as per the FIAT 400.
It even mentioned the Porsche 911.
Each and every one of which I would rather own than the vehicle under discussion.
But then this does show my own biases. The Clio got mentioned, and I don't fancy one of those either. There are lots and lots of people driving about in the Clio 1.2 who don't incorporate my prejudices, and who I imagine would love to be driving a new Clio; but, being seventeen or a little older, it'll be up to their parents to deal with buying them a Twingo and insuring it. And this would neatly cannibalise existing Renault sales.
Unless it's cheaper to buy and insure than a prawn sandwich, well ...
It's not just the "small" Fords.
The 999cc 3 pot turbo is used (to great effect IMO) in the Focus. We've just bought one, and it's an absolute hoot! As much power & torque as I had in my old Mk2 Mondeo in a smaller car with better ride.
They're even talking about putting that engine in the Mk IV Mondeo!
"They're even talking about putting that engine in the Mk IV Mondeo!"
A 1 litre lugging round a giant lump like the Mondeo? Can you say over-strained???
Doubt any of these new Fords will reach double figure birthdays before their owners are faced with costly engine repair/replacement bills.
Guess that's the plan though, to make cars with an average lifespan of a lightbulb.
Vehicle technology has moved on rather a lot in recent years, the IT angle of which is CAD, FEA and advanced casting, forming and heat treatment. Modern engines don't detonate, modern oils don't squeeze out of hot bearings, modern engine parts aren't full of slag, pinholes, and weak spots due to inconsistent case hardening and heat treatment.
VW have had a 1.4 litre engine with 179BHP output for years. It's a clever combination of Diesel-like technology with spark ignition, high torque at low revs. It's difficult to believe that someone won't improve on that.
Why do they do it? Small engines are more efficient; less friction, less cylinder and head area to lose valuable heat energy, higher compression at part load, and less material needed to make them.
But perhaps you meant the lifespan of an LED lightbulb. Another technology which has come a long way in the last 40 years.
Small ICE are ok but... you could dump all that ICE technology away, even an excellent one based on Diesel, and get an electric motor the size of a watermelon that does 400 HP, with nearly no noise and better 'mileage'. High torque at ZERO revs. No hot bearings. No forming. No oil to squeeze out in the first place. No case hardening needed.
No problems on the small engine advantages: less friction, less material to make them... but not efficiency. The largest ICE ever, the Wärtsilä-Sulzer RTA96-C (*2), is extremely fuel efficent, more than 50% of fuel energy is converted into motion (*1). Yeah, that one got me by surprise too.
Admit it, all internal combustion engines are outdated near an electric motor. And you can't fit that
Wärtsilä in your car. Or any car.
The problem with electric cars are the batteries, but except for that, there is no evolution in an ICE that will outperform an electric motor. Even the lousiest electric motors are 90% fuel-efficient, while the best fuel efficient small gas engines don't go over 35%, at best.
If anybody is going serious for an hybrid car, we could have one with a tiny diesel engine, turbocharged, coupled with an electric motor, and relatively smaller batteries. Now that's an idea I would like to see.
Electric motors driving each wheel, and a small *turbine* used to top up the battery when it drops below a certain level.
All the benefits of electric drive.
Smaller Battery required
Turbine runs at optimum load and only when necessary.
Reduced weight and complexity.
Why has no one done this?
? A 1 litre lugging round a giant lump like the Mondeo? Can you say over-strained???
The top output of the "normal" 1.0 Ecoboost is 125PS, and there is a new version in a special Red and Black Fiesta that has 140.
The current entry engine in the Mondeo is 115PS, so a 125PS 1.0 Ecoboost would be no ball of fire but should cope OK. It's a turbo, so you don't need to bounce it off the rev limiter to get anywhere either - peak torque on my 100PS 1.0 Fiesta is about 2200rpm.
quote: "A 1 litre lugging round a giant lump like the Mondeo? Can you say over-strained???
Doubt any of these new Fords will reach double figure birthdays before their owners are faced with costly engine repair/replacement bills."
The Mk III Cortina (circa 1970) came with 1.1l to 2.0l engine options, and according to that page it had "98bhp". I suspect that is the output for the 2.0, so it was significantly outclassed by the current 120bhp Ecoboost lump with only half the displacement (but with a turbo).
If the Ecoboost is designed for reliability at that boost level it'll be fine. I drove the old 90bhp diesel Mondeo, and it was slow but usable, with 120bhp you'll get a bit more poke along with the commensurate drop in economy if you have a heavy right foot.
I have a 160bhp 1.2l engine that is >10 years old and still running fine, and I know people with 400bhp 2.0l engines that have hit 100,000 miles without breaking. As long as you use and maintain them properly engines don't normally go bang, and passenger car engines are designed on the assumption that drivers won't reliably do either.
YMMV of course :)
I own a four-year-old Twingo II RS. It hasn't had any major problems (apart form split balljoint sleeves in the suspension) and a trim issue. Everything else has been rock solid.
*However*, the Twingo II follows the Dacia approach of using tried-and-tested bits from the Renault parts bucket. It's quite a simple thing, with a buzzy 133HP VVT engine shoved in, these new Twingo IIIs are more complex beasts.
The Novo Mesto plant seems to have a good reputation for quality, so I suspect that this will be much better than the Renaults of old..
I already despise most contemporary lunatics calling themselves "designers" ("hey, look, a levitating bed with 360 all-around holo-projectors and its very own warp drive, fuelled by fairy dew extracted directly form parallel dimensions! What do you mean we'll never have anything close in the next ten thousand years?!? But it's a CONCEPT!") - you really didn't have to show me the Twin-Z, I'm already at 11 about this anyway...
Nah. Fuel consumption depends on the conditions local to the trip you are going to take. Terrain, traffic, weather, load carried, condition of vehicle will all cause a decent variation. And then there's the biggest variant of all - driving style. Brake-happy drivers heating the air behind them will use loads more fuel.
It's impossible for a manufacturer to take all these conditions into account and give a real life number that applies to everyone. All they can do is achieve the best they can under the constraints of the standard test and give that number. You then have a relative comparison with other cars that have done the same.
I get better mpg than the quoted figures with my cars.
Sarcasm not needed - there are a couple of models of renault which have legendary reliability if serviced correctly:
* Renault 4 - you can still see them running in southern Europe till this day. If serviced correctly it will continue to run.
* Clio MK-1, the 1.4 engine - again, I have owned 3 of those over the years in different countries and one of them is still running till this day after I handed it down to relatives. Not bad for a car which has left the assembly line in 1989.
The trick with the old Renaults is to replace every 10 years (or force-flush every 5) the radiator. It gets clogged up, the engine overheats and then you are thanking Renault reliability on the side of the road. There are a couple of ther (lesser) bits which need attention and which you will not find in Haynes or the Renault service manual. If you regularly take care of these an old small(note the emphasis on small) Renault like Twingo Mk1, Clio Mk1, Renault 4 (to a lesser extent 5), etc will run and run.
Renault has always sucked at two things - large cars (on all counts - all variants of Espace have always been a complete and unmitigated disaster) and electronics. As they have stuffed all their new ones with electronics to the gills it has become a definitive disaster at the roadside.
1. Renault has barely caught up with Daihatsu from ~ 2000. My old 2003/2004 Sirions (got two of them, one in UK, one abroad) can do a sub-9m turning circle, comply with pedestrian safety (it is the first car to do so and the car that made the Eu tell the manufacturers to stop claiming it is impossible and change the regs), have a bigger boot, hit 0-60 sub-9s and can go onto a dirt track and offroad (the 4x4 one I keep abroad for that exact purpose).
2. Renault has lost the plot in the area which was its core competency amidst European manufacturers - making small cars that do not suck. If you compare Twingo Mk1 to Peugeot 105 the Twingo wins hands down. Other manufacturers (vw Lupo, 90-es Ford Fiasco, etc) do not come even close. Well... no more... It is a rebadge of the Smart engineering disaster now.
Why the love for the original twingo? I drove one, and it was a car that I'd hesitate to inflict on my most hated enemies, let alone anybody else.
The suspension was so bouncy that I suffered from travel sickness. While driving. I have never had anything like that before. Any of the smallest deviations from a perfect road surface set off a gut churning bounce.
The speedo was set so far to the left of the car that one had to take their eyes off the road, look to the left, refocus and then read the speed. Then look back to the road and refocus again. Luckily, at any speeds above 40-50 mpg the gut churning bounce came in therefore you barely needed to look at the speedo.
I give it that it had reasonable economy (but it wasn't as if you could thrash it or drive at any speed above 40-50 mph anyway), it was adequately comfortable in a spartan way buy that was the only plus point. My experience was soured even more by the fact that the stupid thing stopped working in the middle of a snow storm, as both the rev meter (placed exactly where you would expect a speedo to be placed) and the wipers were wired together with one fuse and they both gave up simultaneously when the wiper control stalk fell apart. Gah.
Not all versions (Twingo 1 is a very broad spread or models) were as bad as the one I had for a (very short) while but whoever was responsible for the model I had should have been shot. Repeatedly. Or just made to drive one, as that was possibly a worse punishment.
You can't explain love, or character. How else to explain the longevity of the 2CV, and the fact that well-preserved ones are still much sought-after?
Some of it is simply a desire not to be in an identikit-near-clone of everything else on the road that's a similar size and price. Same reason that when I'm shopping for a used car, one of the criteria is "NOT silver, black or white". Simply because far too many cars out there, are.
Were not rear-engined as suggested, but mid-engined. The A610 was, as correctly stated.
Rearward weight distribution was one of the attributes hailed by Gordon Murray (cars, not Camberwick Green) for the original Elan.
Small well balanced RWD cars with thin tyres I find personally easier to drive in the snow, throttle for the back, steering for the front. If you were to suggest that in conversation, you'd be drowned in anecdotes about a large tyred, big-engined BMW or historical anecdotes about Cortina's being shit in the snow. I would suggest removing "In the snow" from the last sentence for appropriate context.
Like most modern cars this one has lots of 'features' to bump up the price.
Most of the inside is taken up with 500 airbags, impact protection zones, automated emergency callout, tyre pressure warning automatic wiper/light gizmos that add almost nothing to the driving experience other than addin weight.
A Reliant Regal weighed less than half what this POS does thirty years ago. (ok it only had 3 wheels but they were bigger)
Starting price of 11 grand, are they having a laugh ? The moment you drive off the forecourt it will revert to its real value of about 7. (and start to fall rapidly)
You can buy a Vauxhall Agila (which is actually a Japanese made Suzuki Splash) brand new for less than £9500, no deposit, 5 years interest free and they will throw in £500 of free fuel.
It's the same crap little car with no performance but you can at least get more stuff in it.
"Most of the inside is taken up with 500 airbags, impact protection zones, automated emergency callout, tyre pressure warning automatic wiper/light gizmos that add almost nothing to the driving experience other than addin weight."
And ensure that you don't get squished like a bug when some goit in a SUV runs into you whilst checking her phone, swilling hot coffee and touching up her makeup at 40mph.
How I have managed to survive driving half a million miles without so much as one accident is beyond me, perhaps it is because when I'm driving I make sure I am aware what is going on around me.
I don't drive slowly (given good conditions I usually drive at the limit, losing the car in front when we enter a 40 zone and catch them again once out of town as they sail along at a constant 50 not watching the road)
I don't tailgate and I don't overtake unless it's safe but I don't get in the way if someone behind me thinks it is safe (and I will ease off the gas whilst being overtaken to allow them somewhere to go)
They are called Road Traffic Accidents but there is usually nothing accidental about it, someone did not read the conditions correctly and applied the controls wrongly, the result is often a needless collision.
I'm not the best driver in the world and there is still plenty that I can learn, but I do know that blind bends, unmarked junctions, adverse conditions and unexpected items in the driving area are things that happen on every journey. It is the decisions that you take when one of these events occurs that turns it from just another thing into an 'accident'.
A lot of drivers are 'an accident waiting to happen', airbags/anti lock brakes/stability control etc. are only any use when you have managed to get yourself into trouble, I prefer to avoid getting into trouble in the first place (which means constant concentration and risk evaluation as you go)
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