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2015 Renault Twingo revealed

Renault's Twingo is the latest in a line of iconic city cars from the French manufacturer. But the next generation Twingo, to be released later this year, will also carry the legendary Renault 5 Turbo’s DNA, courtesy of a rear-engined, rear wheel drive layout.

The unusual engine placement is the result of a partnership of Renault-Nissan with Smart, which will see the French city car share its underpinnings with the upcomingSmart Fortwo and Forfour. While no engine and transmission details have been released, it’s expected the Twingo could borrow its sibling’s 1.2-litre 66kW turbocharged three cylinder engine, as seen in the entry level Clio.

Enthusiasts will be excited about the handling characteristics and agility of a rear-engined Twingo, but the layout also offers smart benefits for those looking for practicality instead. The Twingo is expected to offer plenty of storage space front and rear, and a very sharp turning circle, which would be hard to achieve with a front wheel drive car.

Twingo’s modern and fresh lines also hide the fact that for the first time in its 22-year history, the little city car will be available with five doors. But the French Fiat 500 competitor will not lack appeal for it, with proportions of the third generation Twingo evoking the legendary “people’s car” Renault 4 from the 1970s, and first generation Twingo, which were big hits in Europe and in developing countries alike.

Inside, the colourful character is expected to continue, with a modern, cheerful dashboard and upholstery to complement the Pop-inspired four colour exterior palette. But Renault wont release the interior look until March 4 at Geneva show, when we will also get more details on personalisation options.

Sleek detailing, and playful, customisable character should make the Twingo a winner – but the little French pocket rocket doesn’t have a go ahead for Australia yet.

If the business case stacks up for Renault Australia, the Twingo may challenge the $17,990 Great Wall V240 ute as Australia’s cheapest rear wheel drive model. More importantly, it could be a very hard-hitting rival for the Fiat 500 and Volkswagen Up.