by Guilherme Marques [email protected]
The Twizy looks more like something from Mars than from France and is all the better for it.
The Twizy is not the average electric car. It is not the average car either. In fact, the Twizy is not even a car, it is what they call a quadricycle. And it is fun. A lot of fun actually.
Algarve Resident was at the international launch in Ibiza and drove the Twizy around for two days, enough time to fall in love with Renault’s first zero emissions vehicle developed from scratch – the Fluence is really just an adaptation.
The idea behind the Twizy is rather simple: create the easiest car to live with in a city environment while adding a big dosage of fun factor to allure customers.
There are two models to choose from: the Twizy 45 (with a top speed of 45 km/h) and the Twizy 80 (you can guess the top speed here).
The Twizy 45 can be driven with a license for 125cc, meaning kids from 16 years old will be wanting one.
We tested the most powerful version, with a whopping 17 horse power. You just turn the key, release the handbrake and press D.
The driver sits in front of the passenger and even with doors – a handy optional that will set you back €560 – the wind floods the cabin and, at least in Ibiza, you could feel the smell of the sea mixed with the pine trees which created a unique e-motoring experience.
Eighty km/h feels fast enough and the Twizy can be driven flat out in most corners, with the unassisted steering being direct and feelsome and the brakes offering strong stopping power. The dynamic abilities are still limited but this is not a car for racing in the street.
A perfect fit for the Algarve
Renault says the autonomy for the battery depends on your right foot – of course – and it ranges from 55km to 100km. We easily achieved 70km in normal driving conditions around Ibiza.
It takes three-and-a-half hours to fully recharge the batteries in a domestic socket and you need an extra €50 per month to lease them from Renault, on top of the initial €6,990 asking price.
You also need a garage to park it at night, since there are no windows and the rain will always find a way inside the cabin. Better to live in Ibiza then. Or – you guessed it – in the Algarve.
In fact, this is one of the not so many places in Europe where it would be perfect to have a Twizy ready to drive around: to the beach, the shops, the marina, the café…
But beware: show it to your friends and they won’t leave you alone. The Twizy is the most fun you can have in a car (ok a quadricycle) without having to add adrenalin – meaning high speeds – to the equation.
It has a depth of character missing in most modern vehicles – let alone electric ones – and will make you hate even more those rare rainy days when you won’t be able to take it out.