proof by the numbers

Renault has just lifted the veil on its next creation, the Twingo Legend, an electric car scheduled for 2026 and announced for less than 20,000 euros. This launch is part of an important approach to the transition to electric: making electric cars more affordable, especially when we know that the purchase of thermal cars will no longer be possible in Europe from 2035. Curious, we decided to compare the price of the 1993 Twingo with that announced for the 2026 version. Many are wondering: is it really more expensive today?

Source: Wikimedia / Renault / Editing by Frandroid

Renault has revealed its plan to launch a new fully electric version of the Twingo, scheduled for 2026, with a base price of minus 20,000 euros, excluding ecological bonus. This initiative aims to bring a more accessible option for electric cars to the market.

At the same time, the Renault R5 E-Tech, already announced for the first quarter of 2024, will also go on sale shortly after the announcement, enriching Renault’s range of electric vehicles.

Renault Twingo (2026)
Renault Twingo (1993)

The announcement of Renault’s electric Twingo in 2026, the Renault Twingo Legend, evokes mixed reactions. On the one hand, some see it as an encouraging sign for the democratization of electric cars. On the other hand, there are people who find its price too high, especially compared to the classic Twingo of recent years.

They point to price increases due to electrification, especially those of batteries. But if we look at things more closely, with figures and concrete facts, the comparison between the 1993 Twingo and the 2026 Twingo holds up.

Extract from the contemporary catalogue

We dug up the old Renault catalog from 1993 for the launch of the Twingo, and it’s like a trip back in time. The basic Twingo was sold at the time for 54,000 francs, excluding options. You had to pay 7,000 francs extra for the air conditioning, 890 francs for the fog lights and 950 francs for the car radio.

To get an idea in euros, here is the approximate conversion of these prices:

  • 54,000 francs for the basic Twingo is about 8,230 euros.
  • 7,000 francs for air conditioning, 1,070 euros.
  • 890 francs for fog lights, 136 euros.
  • 950 francs for the car radio, 145 euros.

Inflation between 1993 and today

The total of these amounts amounts to 62,840 francs (approximately 9,580 euros). Taking into account the average annual inflation of 1.6% in France from 1993 to 2023, the total of 9,580 euros for a 1993 Twingo with all options mentioned would be equivalent to approximately 15,423 euros in 2023. If we project this inflation until 2026 , this same amount would amount to approximately 16,175 euros.

We can also use the INSEE tool, we arrive at 14,760.05 euros in 2022. Given the current high inflation, +6% for 2023, +3% for 2024 and +2% for 2025, so we can count on around 15,000 euros if it were sold in 2023.

Renault Twingo legend // Source: Renault

Now let’s return to our future Twingo of 2026, details of which are still quite limited. Currently, not much is known about its performance, autonomy or equipment. But what we do know is that it will be 100% electric and will be able to benefit from the ecological bonus.

When launched in 2024, buyers could benefit from an ecological bonus of 5,000 euros (up to 27% of the purchase value, so a maximum of 5,400 euros bonus depending on income). So, the new Twingo could be offered from 15,000 euros. However, the exact amount of the ecological bonus in 2026 is difficult to predict, because it can be adjusted downwards.

Safety and comfort equipment and anti-pollution standards

The comparison between new cars from 1993 and 2023 goes beyond just prices. In 1993, standard safety equipment was relatively simple. For example, airbags were not systematically present in all models. Over the years, equipment such as front and side airbags, ABS (anti-lock braking system) and ESP (electronic stability control) have become mandatory, significantly improving vehicle safety.

Other innovations, such as parking sensors, rearview cameras and advanced driver assistance systems (such as blind spot detection and lane departure warning), have become commonplace (sometimes even mandatory) in recent cars.

openR Link under Google (Android) Automotive

This progress is not limited to safety; they also include comfort and connectivity, with things like integrated navigation systems, Bluetooth interfaces and voice control.

In addition to safety and comfort equipment, anti-pollution standards have also evolved. Cars from the 1990s, such as the 1993 Twingo, were subject to less stringent environmental standards. With the introduction of Euro standards, starting with Euro 1 in 1993, car manufacturers had to significantly reduce pollutant emissions from vehicles.

These standards have been tightened over time, culminating in Euro 7 in 2024, which imposes very strict limits on NOx and particulate matter emissions. These regulations have pushed the automotive industry to adopt technologies such as particulate filters for diesel vehicles and more efficient catalytic converters.

Naturally, batteries weigh heavily in the price of an electric car: 40% in the case of the Renault Mégane, for example. But the good news is that battery prices are falling. This will ultimately make it possible to offer electric cars that are as affordable as thermal equivalents.

Twingo Legend // Source: Renault

If we look at the price of the electric Twingo of 2026 and compare it with that of the Twingo of 1993, taking inflation into account, we see that it is not that different. If you add the options and adjust the price to today, the old Twingo is almost at the same level as the announced price for the electric version.

On the one hand, we have a simple car from 1993, without today’s technological refinements, and on the other, a 100% electric car, promising innovations in autonomy, safety and connectivity.

And then we haven’t even talked about the energy and maintenance costs. Obviously this would be to the advantage of the electric car. As we have already seen in several studies, the cost per use is much lower. This means that an electric car is cheaper in the long term than a thermal car., thanks to the cost of electricity and less maintenance.

And let’s not forget that in 1993, when the Twingo arrived at dealerships, many shouted loudly. Cause ? It was sold at a higher price than the Renault 5 it replaced… even though it was smaller! Which didn’t stop it from becoming a hit.

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