It was the surprise of the day: Renault CEO Luca de Meo unveiled a new electric car, called Twingo Legend, on Wednesday during the investor day dedicated to Ampère, the Renault group's new subsidiary for electric vehicles.
This new model will be marketed in 2026 at 20,000 euros (excluding ecological bonus), with a rent of less than 100 euros per month. A first in Renault's new range, now focused on more expensive models. By 2031, Ampère will include, in addition to the Legend, the already launched Megane E-tech, the R5, the 4L, the Scenic E-tech and two other models to come.
In the morning, Luca de Meo soberly explained to journalists that this small car would be the new electric Twingo – there is already one on the market – “reinvented”. “It’s a response to a paradox,” he explained. We demand sophisticated vehicles; but they also need to be affordable. This reinvented Twingo will be connected, new generation. We know that Twingo in the history of Renault is something”. There is a market for inexpensive battery-powered vehicles, so the group is executing. Even if the general manager believes that entry-level electric vehicles have a difficult economic equation.
Logically, the Twingo Legend should be produced in Slovenia, in Novo Mesto, where the electric Twingo du Losange is already assembled. “We have not yet decided,” said the boss of the Renault group about its location. We have to negotiate with the local authorities, the unions... But that would be good for our factory in Slovenia, which has been empty since Mercedes let us go with the Smart that we were producing there.
Could Ampère rely on other “ElectriCities” located elsewhere than in the North of France, where the group has centered its production in its Douai, Maubeuge, Ruitz and Cléon factories for motors? “In 2027, our French sites will be full,” answers Luca de Meo. Why stop ourselves from producing elsewhere in Europe, when we will need to scrape all costs to get to 20,000 euros? ".
The major European manufacturers have all electric car projects priced at less than 25,000 euros in their pipeline. Citroën is already marketing the ë-C3, produced in Slovakia, at 23,300 euros - another model will be released a little later at 19,900 euros with a shorter range. Volkswagen is also preparing the ID2, assembled in Spain, at the same price level. A way to popularize electric and face Chinese competition.
Ampère, which could be listed on the stock market in spring 2024, will not be content with designing and producing electric cars bearing the Diamond logo. “It will be the heart of the new Renault,” explains the group’s general director. Especially since the Renault brand will be 100% electric in 2030.” The new subsidiary will also produce vehicles for Alpine, Nissan, Mitsubishi and why not other manufacturers. “We will expand our business and sell our systems developed with Google and Qualcomm to others,” he adds. Ampère promises to reach a turnover of more than 10 billion euros in 2025 with four models then 25 billion euros in 2031 with seven vehicles. By this date, Ampère is targeting one million vehicles sold, or half of the Renault group's total sales in 2022.