"Forget everything you knew about urban transportation, if you want to get around town in a way that can truly be described as 'urban mobility', you'll have to use something that was created from the ground up with this purpose in mind and uses electric propulsion, so behold the Twizy!"-International Association of Objective Renault Twizzy Worshippers, 2012.
We can't trust the aforementioned source, can we? Since we all know the answer, but we were curious to see what this Renault Twizy is all about, we recently decided to have a go in it, so we rented one. The four-wheeled contraption you are looking at is classified by European laws as a quadricycle, light or heavy, depending on the electric motor you choose, and we've recently spent a day inside it, in order to see if it can really make us become airborne through the boulevards.
It certainly looks like it means this kind of business. Before we set off, we checked out the spec sheet and were more than motivated to take it through the heaviest of traffic when we realized that its 1.24 meters of width (48.5 inches) make it 32 cm (12.4 inches) less difficult to squeeze through the gaps than a smart fortwo. The Twizy is a small creature, but don't call it "simple". We made this terrible mistake and we were punished on the spot. It started to yell at us, even used its hazzard lights and we were forced to pay attention to the following information:
You can have a 4 kW (5 hp) & 33 Nm (24.3 lb-ft) electric motor in the Twizy 45 and, as its designation tells us, this will only offer a top speed of 45 km/h (28 mph), or a 13 kW (17 hp) motor in the Twizy 80, which, yes, will do 80 km/h (49.7 mph) if you insist.
Subsequently, as we obeyed, we were allowed to actually take it for a drive. As we're not 16 anymore, we know how to drive and even have a license to prove this, we could go for the latter version. Continue reading