French car designer and stylist Patrick Le Quement was a visionary, and hard-ass enough to- make sure that the cars he designed saw production as he envisioned them, not after having been put the wringer of committees and focus groups. Thanks to him and his dedication, the 1993 Renault Twingo saw the light of day as he created it, and thus paved the way for one of the great automotive success stories of recent times. The Twingo was the quintessential city car; small yet roomy, maneuverable and with just enough pep to keep it fresh and fun. Its then-whacky features, such as semi-circular headlight and a centrally-mounted instrument panel, have become the norm for many manufacturers, especially the later.
Of course, the Twingo wasn’t a race car. Not even close. It was powered by a 1.2-liter, four-cylinder engine that developed an underwhelming 55 horsepower. The Renault Twingo could reach a top speed of 91 miles per hour, and 0-60 acceleration was 15 seconds. Not terrible. Not great, but not awful. The engine was paired to a five-speed manual transmission.
The Twingo was an impressive sales success, and proved Le Quement right. After the 1993 Renault Twingo, I’m willing to bet he didn’t have to push as hard to get his designs accepted!