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by Tim Beissmann

The 2012 Renault Twingo facelift has been revealed ahead of its unveiling at next month’s 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show.

The Renault Twingo is the smallest car in Renault’s global line-up and is not currently sold in Australia. Don’t hold your breath for that to change anytime soon, either.

Renault Australia’s Emily Ambrosy said the local arm of the French brand has not considered introducing the refreshed model to Australia, and is unlikely to consider the car in its current second-generation form.

“At this time it’s not under consideration for Australia,” Ms Ambrosy said.

“At this stage the focus is on the cars we have here. Our line-up is reasonably new. Many of our cars have been launched in the past year.”

Renault Australia has two product launches remaining for 2011. The first is a diesel version of the Megane hatch, expected early in October. The second is the facelifted Renault Koleos SUV, which will hit showrooms just before the end of the year.

The third-generation Renault Twingo, due in 2014, will be an all-new car. Reports suggest it will be co-developed with Mercedes-Benz as the sister car to the new smart fortwo and feature an innovative rear-engined, rear-wheel drive layout.

Ms Ambrosy would not be drawn on Renault Australia’s plans for that vehicle.

“We really don’t share our business plans with anyone,” she said.

Renault Australia’s business case is different to a number of its competitors in that it does not offer an entry-level light car. Instead, its cheapest car is the Megane, officially a small car that starts at $22,990.

Although the Clio light car is available, it is only sold in the racy Renault Sport flavour, which starts at a head-spinning $36,490.

In the first six months of 2011, the light car segment accounted for 13.8 per cent (or 68,349 units) of the total new vehicle market in Australia.

Renault Australia’s slice of that market was just 0.05 per cent – just 37 vehicles – between January and June 2011.

Meanwhile, the Peugeot 207 is available as an entry-level light hatch from $19,990. Peugeot Automobiles Australia sold 704 units of the traditional Clio rival in the first six months of the year (1.03 per cent of the segment), proving there is at least a niche a market for premium Euro hatches in Australia.

The 2012 Renault Twingo will go on sale in the UK from the beginning of next year.

The Twingo is available with a range of small-capacity petrol engines, ranging from a 55kW/107Nm 1.2-litre with a combined cycle fuel consumption of 5.1 litres/100km, to a high-performance Renault Sport model with a 96kW/160Nm 1.6-litre engine that accelerates from 0-100km/h in 8.7 seconds.

Would you consider the Twingo if it was sold in Australia? Or an entry-level variant of the Clio? Let us know in the comments section below.