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Thomas Morales: “With the end of the Renault Twingo and the Espace, a certain France is bowing out”


FIGAROVOX / TRIBUNE - The Renault group has announced that it will end production of the Twingo and the Espace. The writer pays homage to these two vehicles, which, according to him, symbolized the dream of a generalized middle class.

Thomas Morales is the author, in particular, of “Praise of the car.

Defense of an endangered species” (Éditions du Rocher, 2018), and “My last session: Marielle, Broca and Belmondo” (Pierre-Guillaume de Roux, 2021).

Latest book published: "And now, here comes a long winter" (Éditions Héliopoles, 2022).

It's a bit of my adolescence that is being murdered.

Renault abandons the Twingo and the Espace in its large minivan version.

Clap of the late 1980s-1990s!

When words disappear from the rolling dictionary, I feel everything.

A little banged, on the side, the soul in pain and my mechanical memories go back to the shovel.

And yet, I was not tender with this monstrous decade where we lost, little by little, our sovereignty, our industrial fabric, our know-how and our love of beautiful style, that of the pure and charming line, of chaste eroticism, that expression so dear to Prévert.

We set out to pluck an entire sector as the harsh winters were soon to knock on our doorstep.

The automobile, that old French dream that went back to Father Louis Renault's workshop, that garage at the bottom of the Boulogne-Billancourt garden, or to the marketing genius of André Citroën and his avant-garde technical solutions, had lead in the wing.

In the upper echelons, people no longer believed in it, from the first cohabitation and well before Maastricht.

Pedestrianization awaited us at a forced march.

The storms on the sky of a happy mobility hovered above our heads.

It was already the time of common platforms, organ banks, economies of scale and underlying relocations, words of authoritarian experts who thought to rationalize the road, amputate it of all daydreaming, cut it off any romantic impulse.

As if the car were just a cold object, the

Everyone adopted the Twingo because it restored faith in a popular, spacious, fresh and spruce car.

Thomas Morales

These people only know how to talk to the wallet, never to the heart, hence their repeated failures to understand the country and hear the pounding of a nation that does not want to die for budgetary rules.

They have a knack for always working against the general consensus.

So, lovers of so-called character cars, tired of seeing reliable and identical models, tasteless and a bit guilt-ridden invading our streets, began to look in the rear-view mirror.

In those “ Fric-Clip-World music-Erasmus

” years

, we escaped by thinking of an SM seen in a film by Claude Sautet, à la 404 by

Pierrot le fou

driven by Belmondo, Traction des malfrats or the Alpine A 110, this skilful knitter, victorious in rallies and we ended up abandoning modern production in favor of all these much more brilliant models of yesteryear.

Because the "beautiful car" is not just a question of money or social status, we must want it like the dessert "Grandpa's car" that I ate in the boxes of the workshop Renault on the Champs-Élysées, during the high masses in September, at the Porte de Versailles.

In this endless tunnel that was the 1990s, the diamond came to break routine, stereotypes, market studies, contradict pollsters and surveys, it succeeded in shaking up fledgling algorithms by giving birth to the Twingo (first generation ), the only one that matters and will matter aesthetically and emotionally.

Launched in 1992 and marketed in 1993, it was decidedly big, its generous passenger compartment, its fabric interior, its funny face, its "pop" colors (Indian yellow, coral red, ultramarine blue, coriander green and intense black ), it looks like poetry;

she was the worthy heiress of the Renault 5, irresistible tangy candy of the "



Everyone adopted the Twingo because it restored faith in a popular, spacious, fresh and spruce automobile.

It abolished classes and restored their dignity to the most modest households.

Another myth is dying out, that of the Espace in its large minivan configuration.

A blow for the bourgeois families who had made it their identity vehicle, at its beginnings in 1984.

Thomas Morales

Man or woman, young active or retired, urban or rural, ch'ti or Provençal, we were not ridiculous at the wheel of a Twingo.

Students, workers, grandmothers, models, nurses, lawyers, solo or in a quartet, could count, for a long time, by buying it new or second-hand, on this pugnacious and smiling, desirable and embodying the opposite of a rancid France.

So, when I learn that her name is going to stop, the country must recognize the virtues of this brave fighter who hoisted the "France" flag at the top of sales.

A great builder capable of imagining such an unusual and tender creature has all our esteem.

Another myth is dying out, that of the Espace in its large minivan configuration.

A blow for the bourgeois families who had made it their identity vehicle, at its beginnings in 1984. Much was made fun of of this community vessel labeled "Figaro Magazine", which took root in American culture.

Before him, the Chrysler Voyager had inaugurated this segment.

The Espace was the marker of an era when people were not ashamed to travel with large families, go on vacation, practice sailing or mountain biking, in remarkable comfort, while enjoying performance worthy of powerful sedans.

The upper middle classes had found their hobbyhorse.

The end of the Twingo and the Espace heralds a new era full of uncertainties and injunctions.




- Arnold Schwarzenegger presents the BMW car that can change color

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-02-14

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