Twizy Renault’s new twist on transport

Holden Renault this week took delivery of its new Twizy two-seater compact demo and display vehicles – arguably the most unique production vehicle on the road today.

The Twizys are now available for test drives at dealers with larger suburban and urban populations, in keeping with the car's likely target customers and driving usage.

With an on-the-road price from just �6,690, Renault's baby electric vehicle is the third of the French manufacturer's ground-breaking electric vehicle range to hit the UK market and undoubtedly the most striking.

The futuristic Twizy is 2.34m long by 1.24m wide and designed for a driver and passenger to sit in tandem. The stylish, zero emission in road use, two-seater is charged using a standard three-pin plug. Full charge takes three and a half hours, costing about �1 – depending on supplier and tariff – giving a range of about 60 miles, making electric motoring practical, economic and environmentally friendly.

Twizy is powered by a 13kW (17hp) motor with a limited top speed of about 50 mph. The bodywork is extremely visible in traffic to other road-users and both occupants are protected by a deformable structure, while the outboard position of the four wheels and the lateral beams located either side of the chassis provide protection on either side.

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The lower-powered 5hp Twizy, limited to 28mph, was not originally planned for the UK but recent confirmation that a new category of European licence – AM – for 16-year-olds and over, coming into effect in the UK from January 19 next year, means Renault UK is now studying its sales potential.

Safety systems include a driver's airbag, a three-point seatbelt with additional strap for the driver and a three-point safety belt at the rear. As Twizy's occupants are protected and held in place they do not need to wear protective gear or a helmet.

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Unsurprisingly, given its unique looks, there are several more uncommon options and accessories than on your average four-wheeled vehicle. Among them are scissor doors at �545, driver and passenger blanket at �110 and a 50-litre leisure bag at �95 which sits on the rear seat and clips into the chassis so objects stay in place.

Rounding off the more traditional enhancements are metallic paint for �195, a child booster seat at �55 and alloy wheels for �340.

Thanks to its four-wheeled chassis and extremely low centre of gravity, Renault's unique Twizy delivers a grin-inducing driving experience, while disc brakes all-round ensure precise, efficient stopping power.

Twizy is available from �6,690 on-the-road for the Urban model – there are also Colour and Technic models. Monthly battery lease costs �45 including VAT for a three-year/4,500 miles per year agreement.

For more information visit Holden Renault in Heigham Street, Norwich, or telephone 01603 628911.

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