Renault will remake its Twingo model to capture the cult appeal of the Smart and Mini brands.


Automotive News Europe said the next Twingo also will not use the B platform for small cars that Renault shares with its Japanese alliance partner Nissan, as has been widely assumed.


It will be built on the current Clio platform to save money, supplier sources said.


Renault wants to develop the Twingo into a car that matches the cool image of Mercedes car group’s Smart brand and BMW’s Mini.


“It will be a chic city car,” said Francois Hinfray, Renault’s sales and marketing chief. “It will have to be much more versatile than the Smart, and be fit for out-of-town driving, as is the case now,” added Renault spokeswoman Marie de Saint-Cheron.


Renault wants to distinguish the Twingo from its other small cars, the Clio and the new Modus small minivan that will be introduced in September.


The Twingo will be marketed as a trendy car in developed countries, with a refined interior and lots of equipment, and as a basic, entry-level car in developing countries. It will have three doors and four seats like its predecessor.


By using the platform of the current Clio, the upscale model of its present small-car range, Renault will be upgrading the Twingo, currently its level entry model.


Renault is not commenting on development details but a supplier source said: “It’s quite clever. By using the current Clio platform, they save money both on development and manufacturing.”


Production of the new Twingo will be shifted from Flins in France, to Renault’s Slovenian plant of Novo Mesto, where the current Clio is built.


Production of the new Twingo, code-named X44, is expected to start in late 2006.