TURIN, Italy – A glimpse at the first fruit of a Mercedes-city-car collaboration can be had in Milan at the “Design Week” confab that runs through April 14.
In association with renowned British designer Ross Lovegrove,is presenting a concept that plays with the fantastic potential of light-emitting-diode colored lighting and provides a peek at the next-generation Twingo that will share its architecture with future Smart vehicles.
The concept, called the Twin’Z, is an electric vehicle measuring 144.8 ins. (362.7 cm) long, sits on a 98.2-in. (249.5-cm) wheelbase and is 67.1 ins. (170.5 cm) wide and 59.3 ins. (150.6 cm) high.
The production car is expected to be a rear-drive, rear-engine model, with a long-wheelbase version that will be offered in a 4-door body style.
Renault design director Laurens van den Acker says the cabin of the new Twingo will be 5.9 ins. (15.0 cm) longer than that of the500, which Renault clearly is benchmarking.
It is unclear whether the production model would get the concept’s suicide doors, but insiders say the setup is likely only with the show car and meant to offer a better view of its interior. Renault designers say the auto maker still has not approved production of a 4-door model.
Renault and Mercedes began their collaboration three years ago, agreeing to share costs in developing the next Twingo and Smart ForFour, plus a successor to the Smart ForTwo 2-seater based on a shorter-wheelbase version of the architecture.
Renault reportedly has not decided whether to produce its own 2-passenger model.
Both Mercedes and Renault will offer plug-in hybrid or full battery-electric version of the A- and B-segment cars.
Renault is expected to exhibit a race-inspired version of the new small car at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the U.K. The car, dubbed the TwinRun, will boast design elements inspired by the 1980s-era R5 Turbo model.