(Originally published June 2011)
It may look like the grotesque love-child of a 1950s bubble-car and a sci-fi runabout, but the absurdly-named Twizy may soon become a familiar sight on the crowded streets of Europe’s cities.
It is the first in Renault’s new world order of electric vehicles and has a pod-style construction, a protruding wheel at each corner and tandem-style seating for two. It is also technically classified as a quadricycle rather than a car.
The Twizy is being built in Spain and is due to reach Britain early next year. Most revolutionary of all, perhaps, it will cost from only £6,690, which pretty much guarantees it instant popularity.
With its super-compact dimensions – it doesn’t even have proper doors – the Twizy clearly has its limitations as a form of transport but equally it will stand as a serious challenge to makers of motor scooters as well as city cars.
The monthly battery lease will cost £40 so suddenly electric motoring has become affordable as well as environmentally desirable. Plug it into an electric socket for three-and-a-half hours and it will be ready to go, with a range of 62 miles.
MM verdict: ground-breaking vehicle with a bargain basement price tag.