It’s a breath of fresh air indeed. It’s the first ever fully-electric urban two-seater. Described as a quadricycle, the Twizy can be driven at speeds of up to 50mph.
The goodIt puts the fun back into driving in the sunshine
The badVery unprotected
If you want to go through life keeping yourself to yourself without drawing any uninvited attention then the Renault Twizy is certainly not for you.
That’s because this high-domed two-seater without windows is guaranteed to turn heads as it whizzes past amazed onlookers.
I was lucky as at least the model I tested had scissor doors – some don’t!
But in return, I wasn’t exactly blessed with the finest summer weather. Torrential rain meant the inside of the quadricycle was pretty wet to start with.
But after mopping down the front seat and positioning my brollie on the floor by my feet, it was just a case of getting the electric vehicle started.
It features a push button start-up and a D for driving forwards, R for reversing and N for neutral. The handbrake is tucked away by the driver’s left leg and takes a little getting used to.
But with the Twizy whirring and ready for the off, that’s when the real fun starts – come rain or shine.
Admittedly, the Twizy is not for everyone, and on wet and windy days it’s probably not for anyone.
But it does boast a brilliant fun factor and on a hot summer’s day would be amazing to whizz around town in.
It’s easy to manoeuvre and its size makes parking a complete doddle.
It takes 6.1 seconds to reach 28mph from a standing start and can push onto a top speed of 50mph as the lithium battery powers it along.
The Twizy has a top range of 62 miles and takes just three-and-a-half hours to fully charge.
A passenger can be carried and would sit behind the driver and there are a few storage options – the test model also had some nets costing £50 and a rear storage bag for an additional £95.
Visibility is good because there are no side windows and there is no need for a rear-view mirror as there is no rear window!
One factor that really impressed me was that despite driving the Twizy in torrential rain, I didn’t get any wetter as I went along – I’m not quite sure why but it was certainly a plus-factor.
Built-in features include a driver’s airbag, battery range indicator, battery charge indicator, heated windscreen, eco-score rating, twin glove-boxes – one of which is lockable, front and rear disc brakes, a clear roof with UV filter and even a hands-free kit.
The test model started at £6,950 but the optional extras increased the price-tag to £8,175 and buyers will also incur a battery rental charge from £45 to £67 per month depending on the length of contract and annual mileage.
All in all, the Twizy is the sort of vehicle that would be great to keep in a garage and use on a sunny day – but that makes it rather an expensive toy.