Home » Renault Celebrates 30 Years Of The Twingo With A See-Through One-Off

Renault Celebrates 30 Years Of The Twingo With A See-Through One-Off

Renault Twingo By Sabine Marcelis Topshot
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Can you believe the Renault Twingo is officially 30 years old? France’s funky slice of rolling post-Cold War optimism celebrated its pearl anniversary yesterday, and Renault did something big to celebrate. The French marque called on Dutch designer and artist Sabine Marcelis to create a fresh new Twingo art car, and the result is as wild as you’d expect.

Renault Twingo By Sabine Marcelis 3

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

The big party piece of this special Twingo is something we’ve rarely seen before — transparent panels recalling the clear tech of the new millennium. Yes, windows in the side panels and hood of this Twingo expose the ghostly white-cloaked structure underneath. In fact, almost everything on the outside of this Twingo from the bumpers to the tires is white, giving the whole car a striking monochromatic appearance.

Renault Twingo By Sabine Marcelis 1

See-through panels aren’t the only party trick on the outside of this Twingo. Diffused lighting in the traditional smiley Twingo arrangement shines from underneath translucent skin, offering a seamless appearance. While this particular arrangement is a pure flight of visual fancy, Ford seems to be working on a street-legal setup that’s similar to this, so perhaps invisible-when-off lighting is a sign of things to come.

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Renault Twingo By Sabine Marcelis

In stark contrast to the arctic tundra exterior, this Twingo’s interior can hardly get any more red. Almost everything from the seats to the headliner to the tinted sun visor comes in some shade of rouge, often leaning more towards claret than cardinal. Amusingly, the steering wheel doesn’t have any spokes, instead being one solid frisbee of translucent plastic. It’s about as practical as transparent bedsheets, but this is an art car so practicality genuinely couldn’t matter less.

Renault Twingo By Sabine Marcelis 2

Intriguingly, this Twingo has been converted to electric power, which is part of what makes the lower light bar possible. On normal Twingos, that’s a grille for getting air to the radiator, but such flow is unnecessary here. It’s not like the gasoline powertrain will be particularly missed as the stock zero-to-60 time is more a “yes” than a number, and electrification suits the cuddly, friendly silhouette of Renault’s iconic ‘90s city car. Curiously, while Renault has partnered with French firm R-Fit for EV conversion kits that fit the Renault 5 and Renault 4, nothing is on offer for the Twingo. It’s likely this system is bespoke, but wouldn’t it be cool if the aftermarket stepped up to the plate with a bolt-in solution?

Renault Twingo By Sabine Marcelis 4

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Renault is experiencing a sort of art car fascination as of late. You might recall the Renault 5 Diamant, a pink one-off with jewel-like headlamps and a marble steering wheel. It’s a captivating showpiece, unchained from the constraints of reality in all the best ways. While this one-off Twingo isn’t quite as extroverted, it’s still an intriguing use of light and unorthodox materials that reinvents an icon.

(Photo credits: Renault)

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Manuel Verissimo
Manuel Verissimo
11 months ago

“Curiously, while Renault has partnered with French firm R-Fit for EV conversion kits that fit the Renault 5 and Renault 4, nothing is on offer for the Twingo.”

I cannot let this mistake stand uncorrected. There’s a company that will lease you an EV restomod Twingo for 200€/month. Deliveries should start this year.

Check’em out and bask in the glory: https://www.lormauto.eu/

Here’s a little peak at their factory for you French speakers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFd4qjlpWNU

Toyec
Toyec
11 months ago

I personnally prefer the Lormauto project, but the fact is that the R-fit kit will also be available for the first gen Twingo, only a little bit later than for the R5 and R4 because of homologation time (Renault announced it officially)
https://media.renault.com/renault-teams-up-with-r-fit-to-launch-in-france-electric-retrofit-kits-for-its-iconic-vintage-models/?lang=eng

Jakob K's Garage
Jakob K's Garage
11 months ago

I sure do hate that giant screen thay gave it.
One of the many cool things about the Twingo was the tiny screen!
Here’s from last time o owned one: https://www.instagram.com/p/CF1PmqJF1oO/

Petter hjalmarsson
Petter hjalmarsson
11 months ago

Oh I got one in the same colour. I think you missed out on not having the panorama roof, it’s delightful to drive around all open in the summer.

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
11 months ago

Another white car. Ugh! /s

Pisco Sour
Pisco Sour
11 months ago

This looks like something those non-human-looking hosts from Westworld would drive.

Erik Hancock
Erik Hancock
11 months ago

Maybe the photos aren’t doing it justice, but the translucency is underwhelming. Just seeing a bit more of the frame seems like a wasted opportunity. I would be much more interested if there were ghostly hints of wiring harnesses, door mechanicals, engine components, etc. I know that there are normally layers of insulation, shrouds, and other stuff in the way, but this is a non-functional art car so there’s no reason why you couldn’t selectively strip out that stuff. Do it with the wheels and tires too. Like I said, maybe it looks better in person, but the result in these images seems like something that could easily be done with just a vinyl wrap.

JC 06Z33
JC 06Z33
11 months ago
Reply to  Erik Hancock

Agreed. I understand that translucent =/= transparent, but if the only thing the translucency is going to reveal is some stamping… is it really worth making an art car around?

Duke of Kent
Duke of Kent
11 months ago
Reply to  Erik Hancock

Yeah, consider me unimpressed. The appeal of those translucent/transparent gadgets of the 1990s was that there was cool stuff to see inside. There’s just nothing here.

I had the opportunity to see a “naked” R8 recently and thought that it was just so sad that all that gorgeous piping is covered up by opaque body panels. I thought that it would be amazing to install smokey translucent gray panels in those spaces — maybe even hide some accent lighting among the pipes to really make it pop.

Dar Khorse
Dar Khorse
11 months ago
Chronometric
Chronometric
11 months ago
Reply to  Dar Khorse

Also my first impression.

Sam Gross
Sam Gross
11 months ago

I’m currently in the process of sourcing a (first-generation) Twingo to bring to the US, and it is a long-term goal to EV convert it. A kit would be the ultimate dream, especially if I can get something with NACS.

AKA Rukh
AKA Rukh
11 months ago
Reply to  Sam Gross

I’ve thought about doing this too, though I think the Twingo is behind a few *other ideas. Still, since there are two of us now, should we plan a convention?

*In no order: Autobianchi A112 Abarth, Classic Fiat 500, Fiat 128, Toyota Sera (c-c-c-combo-breaker)

Goof
Goof
11 months ago
Reply to  Sam Gross

Hope it works out for you!

I’ve a friend in Denmark with a 2nd Gen Renaultsport Twingo and I’m kind of jealous of him. It’ll be forever until they’re legal here, and I have zero need for a small car as a conveyance (car = toy, I walk/subway otherwise), but I have a soft sport for the 3rd Gen. It’s just such a pleasant looking package.

Jakob K's Garage
Jakob K's Garage
11 months ago
Reply to  Sam Gross

Just get one from when they ditched the Cleon-Fonte and got the new silent engine, they are pretty good.

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