The Twizy is odd. It is saddled with a strange moniker, a unique clientele, and it even looks weird. Four 13-inch wheels protrude from the squarish base, upon which bobbles a plastic and glass globe where a solitary passenger gets a cramped chair behind the driver. Bright blue luminescent lighting and glazed, curvy surfaces give the Twizy a cheery, spritely touch; this is what Cinderella’s pumpkin chariot would look like in 2220. But all the idiosyncratic smallness has purpose. The five-foot Twizy has a tiny turning circle at 11.15 feet, and can park right angle to a curb, three in one parking spot. It is the definitive urban commuter.
A lithium-ion battery pack gives life to the Renault. It is connected to a standard 20-hp electric motor with 70 lb-ft of torque. A 5-hp variant, without the usual gullwing doors, is available for users who wish to drive without a license. The battery is chargeable using high-discharge roadside stations or a 220v AC outlet, which can charge the batter in 3.5 hours. All told, the standard Twizy has a range of 34-72 miles and a top speed of 46 mph; the 5-hp variant can hit 28 mph.
This petite, piddling microcar has a lot to prove in the way of safety. It sports a wide base with an extremely low center of gravity, two headlamps, two seatbelts, disc brakes, driver’s air bag and a deformable body with lateral reinforcements – commendable, but not quite conscientious.
The Twizy electric microcar is Renault's renowned runt. The Renault Twizy will likely become famous just for being itself – its cute, cramped, cool, commuting self.