Cool & green

The futuristic-looking Renault Twizy is not your usual electric vehicle. By Samuel Ee

Published Fri, Mar 28, 2014 · 10:00 PM
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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.

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