by Groupe Renault - Design

New Twingo, a heir to the R5 Turbo?

Tags: Geneva

Csaba Wittinger was in charge of designing Renault Twin'Run, the concept car (2013) which later influenced New Twingo 's design. We caught up with him at the Geneva Motor Show and quickly realised this Hungarian-born designer is a huge fan of motorsports and of the R5 Turbo. So how did this heritage inspire him in his work? Does he think New Twingo is a true heir to the R5 Turbo? Answers below.

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 What were the inspirations for New Twingo ?

We’ve been asked to make an iconic car that could be a successor to Twingo. Twingo 1 wasn't our only inspiration. We definitely were inspired by the Renault 5 and the R5 Turbo.

Renault has always been a strong player in the city car segment. Not only with the R5 or the Twingo. It started much earlier. If you look at the rear engine-architecture, Renault had the 4CV (hp), which was a milestone in Renault rear-engined cars, made in big series.  All those cars were really important and I would say iconic cars in the history of Renault.

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How does New Twingo have Renault DNA?

Renault is a brand that was never scared of trying new things. Do things no one would ever expect. Take the R5 for instance. It’s a classic front-engine car. But for racing reasons, Renault decided to create a rear-engine version, which became an unlimited tool for the race (same goes for Clio V6 actually). Renault was one of the first carmakers to create super cars from its range.

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What elements did you take from the R5 Turbo for Twin'Run concept and then New Twingo?

The most obvious item is the theme on the body side reminiscent of the widened body of the R5 Turbo. And of course the tailgate. The angle of the rear windshield is very close to the R5's. We also integrated the tail lamps to recreate the expression of the extractors that used to be on the rally car.

If you think about the R5, it was a very popular, affordable, compact car produced in high numbers. This car has been a milestone in Renault history, with a face expression and strong personality. Twingo I was the first heir to the R5. The New Twingo has been taking in that rich heritage and is just continuing the story.

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What is your first R5 Turbo memory?

The very first one was probably a miniature car my brother had. I still was a kid at that time but this rally car was so strong, extreme and beautiful at once that it definitely influenced me, until today. I loved watching Ragnotti drive it. When he won the championship with an R5 Turbo, a Hungarian driver took the third place, also with an R5 Turbo. That's part of why in Hungary, where I’m from, it was a very popular racing car.

I love Ragnotti, and I was so proud that he drove Twin’Run [which Csaba designed] and liked it! As a rally pilot, he instantly made the connection with his former R5 Turbo. For me it’s a great achievement, and it would make me so proud if this Twingo goes into history as being a heir to the R5 Turbo.

Were there a lot of changes since your first drawing ?

The final car  is pretty close from my original idea and I’m pretty proud of that.

Why did your project “win” the internal competition to design New Twingo?

Laurens [van den Acker, Senior VP, Design] was the first to believe in my idea: to keep inspirations from the R5 Turbo. I think I was lucky, because he really liked it and trusted me from the beginning.  I think this New Twingo is neither a Twingo I or a R5 Turbo revival, although it was inspired by both. It’s just a real Renault.

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Tags: Geneva