Known for his penchant for theatrics, Renault CEO Luca de Meo has once again grabbed the limelight. On Wednesday, he unveiled the “Twingo Legend,” a new electric car, during an investor day focused on Ampère, the Renault Group’s newly formed electric vehicle subsidiary.
Luca de Meo’s strategy for relaunching Renault’s brand image has been nothing short of dramatic. The launch of the “Twingo Legend” marks a significant milestone in this journey. De Meo’s penchant for reviving iconic names for modern designs is evident in this latest endeavor, where the “Twingo Legend” combines nostalgic design with cutting-edge technology.
The “Twingo Legend” is a neo-retro incarnation of the original Twingo. Its design pays homage to the classic model while incorporating contemporary features, including a five-door configuration that enhances its practicality. What’s particularly exciting about the “Twingo Legend” is its positioning as an entry-level electric vehicle. This strategy is in line with Renault’s commitment to make electric cars more accessible to a wider audience.
Affordability is a key aspect of the “Twingo Legend” with an expected starting price below €20,000. This approach is about offering a budget-friendly option and breaking down the barriers to electric vehicle ownership. De Meo’s vision is to create sophisticated yet affordable vehicles, a philosophy that’s perfectly embodied in the “Twingo Legend.”
Speaking to journalists, De Meo highlighted the “Twingo Legend” as a “reinvented” electric vehicle that addresses the paradox of consumers wanting advanced yet affordable cars. The Twingo has a special place in Renault’s history and its electrified reincarnation will tap into the growing market for low-cost electric vehicles. While De Meo acknowledges the challenges of making entry-level EVs economically viable, the launch of the Twingo Legend in 2026 is a testament to Renault’s commitment to this segment. “The reinvention of the Twingo as an electric car is not just a step forward, it’s a leap into a new era of mobility,” said De Meo.
Renault’s strategy is not taking place in a vacuum. Other major European manufacturers are also entering the affordable electric car market. For example, Citroën’s electric C3 and Volkswagen’s ID2 are similarly priced, highlighting a growing trend towards lower-cost electric vehicles. This competition is crucial to driving innovation and keeping prices competitive, which ultimately benefits the consumer.
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Interestingly, the “Twingo Legend” may find its home in Novo Mesto, Slovenia, the current assembly site for the electric Twingo. The decision depends on ongoing negotiations with local authorities and trade unions. This site would be particularly strategic following Mercedes’ withdrawal from Smart production in the same region.
Renault’s broader strategy includes its “ElectriCities” in northern France, focusing on Douai, Maubeuge, Ruitz and Cléon. However, De Meo doesn’t rule out the possibility of expanding production across Europe in order to keep costs competitive. This approach is crucial as Renault competes with other European manufacturers launching sub-€25,000 EVs, such as Citroën’s ë-C3 and Volkswagen’s forthcoming ID2.
Ampère, which could go public in 2024, will be more than just a manufacturing hub for Renault EVs. It will be the epicenter of innovation, producing vehicles for Alpine, Nissan, Mitsubishi and possibly others, leveraging partnerships with Google and Qualcomm. Ampère’s ambitious sales targets of €10 billion by 2025 and €25 billion by 2031, with plans to sell one million vehicles by then, reflect Renault’s broader vision of an all-electric line-up by 2030.
© Photos: Renault