If they weren’t so small and manageable, one would say that theirs is a clash of titans. What is certain is that, with the electrification of the Fiat 500 and Renault Twingo, the mobility revolution comes to life, because it transforms two historic city cars becoming (also thanks to incentives) within everyone’s reach. Autumn 2020. In the midst of the “second wave” of the pandemic, only a few days separate two historic full-electric debuts: first that of the Fiat icon, which with the Nuova 500 3 + 1 “la Prima” and Nuova 500 models in the Action versions , Passion and Icon, sets a new milestone in its history that began in 1957, in full economic boom, to motorize Italians. Price starting from € 26,150 for the Action set-up, which becomes € 15,900 with scrapping and Fiat incentives.

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Now it’s the turn of the Renault Twingo. Car symbol of the nineties, sees the light as a small minivan without frills but with a strong aesthetic characterization. Today, now in its third generation, it also becomes Twingo Electric, in the Zen, Intens and Vibes Limited Edition versions (read the road test here), on sale starting from 22,450 euros, which with the incentives become 11,500, or 89 euros per month . A concentrate of the know-how that Renault has gained over the last ten years by producing vehicles such as the Zoe, the Twizy quadricycle and the commercial Kangoo ZE and Master ZE.

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The other city cars to keep an eye on

The ideal terrain: urban roads

The timing is ideal: despite the pandemic and the automotive market which recorded -31 percent of registrations in the first 10 months of the year, the increase in the supply of electric vehicles and the growing interest of Italians in “zero emissions” mobility »Boosted sales of electric vehicle, registering a plus 121 percent compared to 2019, with EVs conquering 1.7 of the market (0.5 last year).

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Equally ideal is the battleground: the city. It is the place where the most compact and manageable vehicles triumph and where daily distances are on average between 30 and 50 kilometers. The perfect field of use for the current electric, and bread for the teeth of the New Fiat 500 and Twingo Electric, which show different approaches to electrification in an attempt to win over users and become the preferred means of moving in urban traffic, without the restrictions imposed on cars with internal combustion engines.

The electric Fiat 500, presented a few weeks ago, is also characterized by the third door on the right side: a practical (and original, in the segment) solution that facilitates accessibility
The electric Fiat 500, presented a few weeks ago, is also characterized by the third door on the right side: a practical (and original, in the segment) solution that facilitates accessibility

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The two engines of the 500

The 500 is in fact available with two 95 (Action version) or 118 horsepower (Passion, Icon, La prima) engines and a 23.8 or 42 kWh battery for 180 or 320 km of autonomy in the Wltp cycle, which become 240 and respectively. even 460 in the city. There are also different solutions for recharging: the basic version can be recharged with the fast charge system and power up to 50 kW, capable of storing range for 50 kilometers in just ten minutes, while for the other models the fast charge is up to 85 kW. .

The new Twingo Elettrica
The new Twingo Elettrica

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The French powertrain with 3 trim levels

Twingo Electric, for its part, offers a single powertrain declined for the three available configurations, whose strengths are the new R80 engine with power of 60 kW (82 hp) and maximum torque of 160 Nm, acceleration from 0 -50 km / h in 4.2 seconds, the maximum speed limited to 135 hours and a 22 kWh battery, for a range of up to 270 km in the city and 190 in the Wltp cycle (which increases to 225 km with Eco Mode) .

The choice of charging technology is interesting: based on a study according to which 71 percent of public charging stations in Italy are 22 kW, Renault sells the Twingo Electric with a standard Caméléon charger for AC charging up to 22 kW, allowing the recovery of 80 km of autonomy in 30 minutes or full recharge in an hour and 30 minutes. Two ways of interpreting the electric for two iconic cars that now become “zero emissions”, connected, safer thanks to Adas technologies and more fun thanks to infotainment systems with advanced services. And the beauty of the revolution is electric.

The test of the Renault Twingo Electric

Let’s start from the end: after a three-hour test drive along the streets of Rome, from the cobblestones in the center to the holes in the peripheral streets, the last maneuver to return the Twingo Electric Vibes Limited Edition is a U-turn that the turning radius of 4.30 meters and 3.61 in length make it incredibly easy. Handling equal to the panache with which the efficient R80 electric motor, positioned on the rear wheels (designed and developed by Renault), pushes it forward once Eco mode is disabled. A silent, decisive progression (from 0 to 50 km / h in 4.2 seconds), guaranteed by 82 horsepower and 160 Nm immediately available, which do not bother the 22 kW water-cooled battery perfectly integrated into the platform (which the Twingo Electric shares with Smart, together with which it is produced in Novo Mesto, Slovenia). After three hours spent sneaking through the relentless Roman traffic, accelerating overtaking to recover energy with three levels of regenerative braking (from the softer B1 to B3), the system still detects 110 kilometers of range, a result in line with its promises and which confirms the versatility of the car in the city. Spacious despite its small size, light but well planted thanks to effective suspension and wheels with 16-inch alloy wheels (15 for the Zen and Intens versions), the little Renault with zero emissions at the exhaust is recognized by elements such as the center wheels with blue rim or grille inserts with electric blue signature. On board, a dashboard (photo above) complete for information and the 7 “display of the Easy Link multimedia system, compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which includes the EV Route Planner, to plan an itinerary taking into account the stops for charging.

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THE BOARD

Here are the main features of the Renault Twingo Electric:
Dimensions – Length: 362 cm; width: 165; height: 156
Engine – Electric R80 of 60 kW (82 hp), torque 160Nm
Price – From 22,450 euros (with incentives: 11,500 euros or 89 euros per month)

November 23, 2020 (change November 23, 2020 | 11:59 am)

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