The all-new, rear-wheel drive Renault Twingo broke cover last week ahead of the Geneva Auto Show, previewing a chassis shared with the new Smart ForTwo. Will this refreshed rear-drive city car help lift lagging Smart sales?
Daimler and Renault agreed to work together to produce a new Smart ForTwo and ForFour, which would also lend itself to a Renault Twingo version. Renault got the jump on the reveal, with the Twingo model going rear-wheel drive for the first time since its inception in 1993. That’s a big change, and necessary since the Smart ForTwo maintained its rear-engine, rear-wheel drive layout.
Both the Renault and Smart will get a cutting-edge three-cylinder turbocharged engine, though I have to say I much prefer Renaults take on the city car’s styling. The current Smart ForTwo is too tall, it’s design too polarizing and utilitarian, unless you dress it up like a rolling work of art. The Renault Twingo looks lively and fun in comparison, continuing the French automaker’s tradition of making fun rides out of green technology.
Will the new Smart ForTwo take a page from its Renault cousin and inject a bit of youthfulness into the stale design? America could use a handsome, fun-to-drive city car, and Daimler hasn’t quite given up on Smart yet.