Dacia Could Build a City Car Based on the Old Twingo

Dacia Lastun 1 photo
Cheep and cheerful? Only if it's something you but from the thrift shop. That formula has never worked well in Europe, except maybe for the Dacia budget brand, which under Renault's leadership has grown in leaps and bounds. The Romania brand currently has one of the youngest model ranges of any automaker, but a rumor coming from Germany suggests there's one addition coming our way.
At the Geneva Motor Show last week, Renault revealed a brand new Twingo city car, and the Germans at AutoBild have quickly jumped onto the speculative bandwagon, saying there will soon be a Dacia version of the Twingo. This would not be based on the Daimler-co-developed model with the engine in the back, but on the outgoing Twingo 2, in production since 2007. According to them, this car would be the smallest Dacia on sale and would undercut the Sandero by €1,900, starting at just €5,000.

Making a city car that cheaply while still meeting European standards will be extremely challenging. A number of features will probably be stripped form the car, and the very basic trim level should come with unpainted plastic bumpers and steelies.

There is still one big question mark hanging over this speculative rumor. Renault has hinted the recent Dacia model expansion cost them too much money and there would be no additions to the range for at least two years.

Last year, Renault COO Carlos Tavares said that marketing costs for Dacia Twingo would be too high. “What I want to avoid is to have too many cars. We need to be communicating the brand rather than fragmenting our marketing dollars on too many models. Dacia’s brand awareness is still quite low,” Tavares stated.

Of course, a lot has changed since he made that statement. Carlos Tavares quit his job a Renault COO and the European market seems a much friendlier place for new models to be launched.

Note: Dacia Lastun pictured above, a tiny car built in Romania between 1988 and 1991. It had a tiny 0.5-liter engine with 23 hp delivered through a 4-speed. Top speed: 106 km/h… if there's no wind.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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