By on February 2, 2010

What can I say, I’m a child. Then again, this 100hp, Renault Twingo-based Wind coupe-convertible is one silly toy. With an 11-second 0-60 time from its 1.2 liter engine, there’s some question of whether the Wind could even outrun a fart. But hey, at least you’ll look cool trying, in an adorable, non-threatening, French kind of way.

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30 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: Renault Breaks Wind Edition...”

  • avatar

    Perfect birthday present for a European Debutante.

  • avatar

    The Honda Del Sol didn’t do so well, so making an even more gutless version will no doubt be the solution.

    • 0 avatar

      The difference is the market: there are many people in Europe (Renault’s primary market) who spend 90% of their time driving in city traffic, where a 100 hp engine works just fine.

      Don’t assume it’s intended to be a sports car …

  • avatar

    It’s better looking than any other city car I’ve seen. If they gave it slightly more power, say a 1.6 liter engine that was good for 135 – 150 hp, and sold it at the right price (starting around $15K maybe) it would be a bit hit in the USA.

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    Said it before, it bears repeating…..get used to the new CAFE 35+ paradigm… whips for the masses have had their day. We are now looking at 4 cyl, lightweight Euro- and Asia- style whips for the rest of our lives…..power, speed, mass and size will be available, but at a premium cost only, due to lower volumes over which to spread fixed costs.

    So, tilt at windmills by dissing small, slow cars all you want. Won’t change a thing, sadly….

    If you want big and powerful, better by 2 now….one for now, and one for later….

  • avatar

    Most cars sold in Europe fit in the 10-13 sec acceleration range. Many are even slower.

    Anyway, that car looks ridiculous and useless, not good for our recessiony times. The open top could help French rioters to burn it, though.

    • 0 avatar

      Wow, that’s some spectacularly ill-informed tripe you’re spouting there Garak. “most cars” by what measure?! 10-13 second 0-60 is slow for a performance car over here just as it’s slow for a performance car over there… thing is this *isn’t* marketed for performance

      This is yet another small folding-tin-top aimed at people who don’t care how fast their car can go, so long as they can pop the lid and pose in it when the weather gets good. These things sell like hotcakes among the masses of people who (unlike readers here) aren’t petrol heads.

      Renault aren’t doing anything new here, they’re coming late to a (fairly profitable) party Peugeot, Nissan, Mitsubishi, and Citroën have been milking for the past decade or so. look up the 206 CC, the 207 CC, the Micra C+C, the Colt CZC, and the C3 Pluriel… etc.

    • 0 avatar


      Unless Garak has edited his/her comment since you posted your reply, Garak doesn’t say anything about “performance car” 0-60 times. Garak said “most cars,” sold in Europe have 10-13 sec 0-60 times. I see neither where Garak is arguing that the Wind is a performance car nor the grounds of your protest.

    • 0 avatar

      fair point akitadog – I edited my comment after originally posting it and now that first paragraph makes no sense. I *was* taking issue with the “most cars” assertion, it’s unfounded and (imo) inaccurate but since the rest of my comment was about the market for this car not being performance driven I wound up muddying the issue.

      Will take more care in future :)

  • avatar

    Ahh potty humor…

    Thanks for appealing to my inner 12 year old (hehe).

  • avatar

    A wise man once said: “There is great joy to be found driving slow cars fast”

    Given that literally 60% of most “fast” cars’ capabilities are beyond even reasonable speeds on public roads, and 75% of their capabilities are blatantly extra-legal, AND most importantly you only tap a small percentage of those capabilities in maybe 0.001% of your daily driving situations… Why complain about an 11 second 0—60 time? The vast majority of cars built since the beginning of time could not achieve that figure.

    The whole 0—60 paradigm is ridiculous anyway. 25—60, and 45—75 are more meaningful metrics (though harder to measure, so ignored by automotive journalists.)

    MPG is now the king of the automotive metric hill. Get used to it.

    Besides, having driven a few “slow cars fast” myself, as well as many “fast cars fast” I have to tell you the former is actually a lot more fun! I’ve thrashed and flogged old MGs, and 80-s era VW Rabbits, Hondas, and Toyotas through canyons. I’ve also driven Caymans, E-types, 911s, Corvettes, and AMG Mercedes. Other than the E-type and Cayman, the big powerful GTs were nowhere near as viscerally thrilling as the tossable slow cars. The rest were just luxo-barges that went fast and sucked fuel like there was no tomorrow.


  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    Hey! I can remember when 0-60 in 10-seconds was considered friggin scorching. 11-seconds ain’t bad, and the Twingo convertible is probably good for 50 mpg. How swift is the Fiat 500 Cabrio some folks are having wet dreams about?

    • 0 avatar

      The first gen Fiesta ran about 11 seconds 0-60 in US spec, and it was a blast to drive. I remember the automotive press raving about how quick it was for an econobox.

  • avatar

    First Renault I’ve seen in years that is intriguing. 0-60 in 11 seconds is plenty fast. If it weren’t for Renault’s reputation and lack of presence in the US, lots of people would buy it.

  • avatar

    So…a convertible can’t be fun unless it does 0-60 in under 7.5 s? Says who? I’m with th009 – don’t assume it is a sports car.

  • avatar

    Let’s see, I have three genuine sports cars in my garage:

    ’74 Triumph Spitfire – on a good day it MIGHT get from 0-60 in 15 sec with my fat @ss behind the wheel. 1.35L of the finest British 1930’s technology under the hood. Dyno’d at 49rwhp a couple years ago.

    ’86 Alfa Romeo Spider – this one has fuel injection and variable valve timing. Might hit 10 seconds if I drove it like I stole it.

    ’69 Saab Sonett V4 – kind of a cheater as it has a seriously hotted up engine – 110hp from 1.7l. Probably 0-60 in 9 seconds if the transmission doesn’t break along the way.

    So 0-60 in 11 out of a 1.2l that probably doubles the fuel economy of any of the above? Sounds just fine to me. As Chuck said above, it is WAY more fun (and a lot healthier for your license and insurance premiums) to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow.

    Why are auto journalists so stupid about this?

  • avatar

    I like it, except for the too-high beltline and the hideaway roof likely eats up all the cargo space in an already tiny car. On the other hand, in the words of Judge Reinhold in Ruthless People, “When you die, they can bury you in it!”

  • avatar

    A wise man once said: “There is great joy to be found driving slow cars fast”

    Truer words have seldom been spoken. My 325 vert is plenty fast for what I use it for (Melanomamobile). I looked at the E46 M3 vert and even the 330 before I bought it. If I had purchased either one I would probably be in jail. The police where I live seem to be waiting everywhere nowadays, and when they see a BMW they salivate. Mark MacInnis is correct. The days of the fast car are almost over.

  • avatar

    I like little cars like this. We dont get them here cause of the perception that we all need enough space for cocktail party, and enough thrust for planatary orbit, sigh. Quirky little cars are fun to own and lotsa fun to drive. This car, for example is distinctive, fun loving and cool. I wish we got some of them! I am very happy that Fiat is bringing the 500 here, for example.

    What we get is ugly little hondas and toyotas, ugh. And really, the del soul, as good as it was to drive, was a misshapen blob of clay.

  • avatar

    Looks better than the Honda CR-Z.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    Gee, a couple of weeks ago, Honda reveals a car that no longer looks like a successor to the CRX. The response from the autoblogosphere is how much Honda sucks for not making the CR-Z like the CRX.

    And today, we see that Renault has the concept, not only nailed, but on an existing platform that seems to be pretty good.

    So, a quick trip to Renault’s UK web site is in order. And what do we see here? The Twingo Renaultsport 133 Cup. Well, the name doesn’t exactly roll of the old tongue like “sacre bleu!” but the numbers look pretty good to me. 133 hp out of 1.6 liter engine? That works.

    I say they should throw a Nissan badge on the damn thing and give the Fiat 500 a run for it’s money…assuming Chrysler lasts that long.

  • avatar

    The Peugeot 206cc, a (very) slightly bigger convertible than this one sold several hundred thousand units during its run, while being avaiable with 109-136ps and 0-60 times of about 11 seconds.

    Seriously, people who want a sports car convertible aren’t going to buy a tiny french one anyway. This is for city driving women, a nice second car for the housewive, this kind of application.

    Why would you ever buy a cute, small, french convertible – if you want to be looked at as “threatening”?

  • avatar

    I think it’s a win depending on price and weight . . . also, the 2004 concept Wind had more HP.

    It says the twingo hatch is about 2200lbs . . . if the cabrio is shaving 200-300lbs, 100hp isn’t unheard of.

    The name says its’ going to be called the Twingup — what was wrong with “Wind”?

    Under $15k and this will be the next Miata. Over that and with more weight, less “fun” and it’s the next Sportage ;)

  • avatar

    What is it with american automotive journalists and their obsession with completely irrelevant 0-100 times?

    • 0 avatar
      Le Piou

      “French kind of way”????? Huh?
      I guess the “American kind of way” requires at least 300hp to drive at 55mph with 10mpg, right?

      Come on, 100hp is more than enough for most uses…

  • avatar

    It’s cute but also suffers from lazy design. If the roof was stowed behind the seats like the hard top Miata then it could have a trunk and actually be a feasible city car. Without a trunk this is a vehicle that fits only a very small demographic niche.

  • avatar
    fred schumacher

    I had a 1993 Dodge Caravan with 2.5 liter and 5-speed manual. It had 100 hp. and that’s plenty. Never felt like it’s not enough. I rarely use more than 1/3 throttle. It got 29 mpg, and that’s something to like. On the highway I could get 33 mpg. And that’s old technology.

    My old 1973 Saab 99 EMS, one of the early fuel injected cars, and the first fast car I owned, wasn’t as fast as this Renault. I think a 0-60 of 12.5 seconds is what it did. Again, it never felt like it wasn’t fast enough.

    The auto press, for whom cars are toys, have gotten us obsessed about power and speed, but for ordinary driving, power is rarely a handicap.

  • avatar

    With those rims, it sure looks like a Hot Wheels fantasy model. Maybe Mattel designed it.

    Kind of funny that the ad that shows up next to it is for the Dodge Ram 2500/3500, with the huge chrome grill and slotted bumper that looks like it could swallow the lil’ Renault whole, squeeze the gas out of it, and drive a mile before it collapses under its own weight.

  • avatar

    If a federalized version of this car meeting U.S. regulations were offered for sale with this level of performance it would have a limited market.

    If this were offered for sale in the U.S. in a federalized version with performance intact, the market for such a car would be limited, but it would sell.

    When the Honda CRX first came out, the regular version had a 0 to 60 time of just a hair over ten seconds and the High Gas Mileage 1.3 liter and 1.5 liter HF versions were over twelve. That was acceptable then and would be O.K. now.

    This Renault certainly performs better and is more attractive than the Smart.

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