Let’s nip another preconception in the bud. Tall and narrow cars have an inconvenient tendency to fall over if you get a bit enthusiastic with the steering wheel.
It’s usually a decent maxim to go by, but in the case of the Renault Twizy, it’s far from the case. The reason why is that that the Twizy weighs just 475kg and 100kgs of that is accounted for by a lithium-ion battery pack that’s skimming along a few inches above the road surface.
There are three specs available – basic ‘Urban’, mid-range ‘Colour’ and top ‘Technic’ but the differences between them aren’t very great and in each case, motive power remains the same.
You soon learn that hills and tailwinds are your friends but there’s the constant nag in the back of your head that mashing the throttle pedal to the floor probably isn’t the greenest way to be making progress.
There’s no traction control or ESP stability control fitted and in the wet you can overcome the grip afforded by the tiny 125/80 13 front tyres if you really try.
It’s rear wheel drive and has a respectable slug of torque so bear that in mind if you’re accelerating away on a gravel track.
It’s entirely possible to pebble dash a family sitting at a picnic table if you’re a bit heavy on the throttle pedal.
The Twizy’s styling looks like nothing we’ve ever seen before. The wheels flung out at each corner, the two seats in tandem and the way this ovoid passenger cell sits nestled into the chassis marks the Twizy down as something resolutely unconventional.
Getting in is relatively straightforward. This one’s got the optional flip-up doors fitted and they’re almost fingertip light on their gas struts.
Unlike many electric vehicles, the most refreshing thing about the Renault Twizy is that it doesn’t promise what it can’t deliver. It’s an unashamedly urban vehicle that sticks to its task very well.
It’s also a bold initiative. As a Renault spokesman explained, they followed the Steve Jobs philosophy and didn’t ask people what they wanted; instead, they took a gamble and said this is what we’ve made, take it or leave it.
Of course, most will find that the Twizy doesn’t fit their requirements. They might not have the facility to charge it or their daily commute is just too long to make it a viable proposition.
If you do live in town and have a predictable commute that public transport doesn’t really cover and don’t fancy getting knocked off a scooter every other month, take a look at the Twizy.
It’s not expensive, it’s enormously good fun and it’s something a bit different. Just don’t call it a car.