Can't quite stretch to a Mercedes SL? Then how about this? The new Renault Twingo II Coupe-Cabriolet claims to be the hard-top convertible to satisfy the most budget-conscious sun-seeker. ( AE )
It's aimed at the likes of the Vauxhall Tigra and Peugeot 207 CC, and is tipped to be one of the cheapest roadsters available. The newcomer is scheduled to arrive in showrooms here in the spring of next year, with prices expected to start at a highly competitive ?10,000.
Before that, it's likely to debut at the Paris Motor Show in October. And that's when fans of the brand will get their first glimpse of the Twingo CC's clever single-piece hard-top. This will disappear at the touch of a button as it slides under the rear deck - although according to at least one insider at the company, integrating it into the design has proved a challenge. Renault has been forced to rework the standard Twingo from the A-pillar back to accommodate the roof. Engineers even had to take out the rear bench - and as a result, the Twingo CC will be the brand's first genuine two-seater since the mid-engined Clio V6 was axed in 2005.
In keeping with its sporting ambitions, the newcomer will be built at Renault's factory in Dieppe, alongside other models in the Renaultsport range.
But there is currently no official word on whether the car will wear the firm's performance badge as standard - or if the Renaultsport logo will be reserved for top-spec variants.
Bosses might be reluctant to use the name as the Twingo CC is likely to be more show than go. Under the bonnet, buyers will be offered a single engine option at launch: the 1.2-litre four-cylinder unit found in the standard city car.
Although this will be uprated to deliver 120bhp - an extra 45bhp over the hatch - to help the CC haul round the additional bulk of its folding hard-top mechanism, its performance won't exactly set pulses racing. That's why Renault may decide to offer a hot version using the 131bhp 1.6-litre engine from the Twingo RS revealed in Issue 993.