Renault has never been the one to shy away from eccentric creations (remember the Avantime?) but the new Twizy certainly takes quirkiness one-step further as it looks like the odd pairing of a golf kart with a motorcycle offering seating for two in a tandem layout while riding on four wheels.
Revealed as a concept for the first time at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, Renault surprised us a year later with the presentation of the production model in Paris. Now, the Twizy is available in European showrooms including Britain where it went on sale today. The 2.34 metres long by 1.24 metres wide two-seater model is available in three trim levels (Urban, Colour and Technic) and two power variants.
The lower powered Twizy 45 (5hp) with a top speed of 28mph (45km/h) was not originally planned for the UK market, however, the company said that due to recent confirmation that a new category of European licence for 16 year olds and over comes into effect in Britain from January 2013, it is now “studying its sales potential”.
The regular Twizy is motivated by a 13kW (17hp) electric motor with a limited top speed of around 50 mph (80km/h). Its battery can be recharged using a standard three-pin plug in three and a half hours, which costs around £1 (depending on the energy supplier) and provides a driving range of around 60 miles (close to 100 kilometers).
Pricing for the 17hp Urban model starts at £6,690 (€8,100 or US$10,700), however, that does not including the battery which Renault leases for a monthly fee of £45 (€54 or US$72) including VAT for a 36 month/4,500 miles (7,240 kilometers) per year agreement.