Tuesday, 29 July, 2014

 
Published March 29, 2014
Motoring
Cool & green
The futuristic-looking Renault Twizy is not your usual electric vehicle. By Samuel Ee
BT 20140329 SETWIZY29 1019546

MAXIMUM FUN AND STYLE
Renault distributor Wearnes Automotive is seeking approval to register the Twizy, which it says is likely to cost the same as an average motorcycle without COE

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BT 20140329 SETWIZY29 1019546
BT 20140329 SETWIZY292IMH 1019547

The Renault Twizy Is A Plug-In Electric Quadricycle That Seats Two - In Tandem Like On A Motorcycle - But Has All The Comfort And Useability Of A Small Car.

PERSONAL mobility has never been cooler or more comfortable. The Renault Twizy is a plug-in electric quadricycle that seats two - in tandem like on a motorcycle - but has all the comfort and useability of a small car. With four wheels for stability, the Twizy is an ultra-compact vehicle at 2.34 metres long, 1.24 metres wide and 1.45 metres tall. There is a steering wheel, accelerator and brake pedal but no gear lever - only buttons to select Drive, Neutral and Reverse. A small LED screen conveys speed, range and distance data, along with other pertinent information but apart from an underdash parking brake, that's it. But there is also front wiper, airbag, front bucket seat and three-point seatbelts for both occupants. No helmet is required.

The back seat is actually less of a seat and more like some padding and the hollow of a bodyshell to sink into, yet it is surprisingly comfortable with good headroom. As for legroom, your knees hug each side of the front seat but there is space to stretch your legs. So even if you're six feet tall, sitting in the back will not be an exercise in claustrophobia. Only the front seat headrest will block some forward visibility but fortunately, it is relatively slim. At just 474 kg, the Twizy's power-to-weight ratio is, as expected, excellent. Floor the throttle and it leaps forward with a furious whirring of the motor.

Yes, the pair of scissor doors do not come with windows, so there are all kinds of road noise (there is no air-con or blower either). But polycarbonate quarterlights ensure minimal rain enters the cabin while on the move.

The steering is direct and the ride firm, thanks to a chassis designed by Renault Sport. The Twizy's suspension set-up comprises MacPherson struts in front and behind. Lithium-ion batteries power the 17 hp electric motor in the back, which drives the rear wheels. Renault's Formula One department developed the Twizy's (Kers) Kinetic Energy Recovery System. To charge the batteries, open a flap in front, uncoil the cable and plug it into a household socket. An empty battery will be be fully recharged in 3.5 hours, after which the Twizy can travel for 100 km.

Renault distributor Wearnes Automotive is seeking approval to register the Twizy, which it says is likely to cost the same as an average motorcycle without COE. When it does, this green urban vehicle with maximum fun and style is sure to get everyone in a tizzy.

samuelee@sph.com.sg


SPECS

Renault Twizy Electric motor:

Max power 17 hp

Max torque 57 Nm

Battery 6.1 kWh lithium-ion

Transmission Single-gear direct drive

0-45 kmh 6.1 secs

30-60 kmh 8.1 secs

Top speed 80 kmh

Range 100 km

CO2 emissions 0 g/km

Contact Wearnes Automotive

Tel 6471 3313