It’s not a car. It’s not a scooter. It is a hole on four wheels. Doors are an option.
All my life as a motoring journalist, I used to laugh at the bizarre concepts that were unveiled usually at the Paris and Tokyo auto shows. I couldn’t believe that those French and Japanese manufacturers were serious. In fact, if memory serves me right, I was on the floor, doubling up with laughter, when I saw pictures of the Renault Twizy concept shown at Frankfurt in 2009. Now, after driving the production version barely three years since those ignorant but hilarious days, my foot is well and truly lodged in my mouth. As you’re reading this, the Twizy has been on sale in Europe for over a month already. Yes, you can actually buy it now; prices start at Euro 6,990 (approximately Rs 4.75 lakh) for the entry-level model. Ah yes, those supercar-like scissor doors. A pair costs about Euro 590 extra — that’s about Rs 40,000. There are other costs too. Electricity consumption may be minimal, but the battery is on lease from Renault and leasing plans start at Euro 50 (Rs 3,400 approximately) upwards per month.
For that sort of money, you get a functional prop from a futuristic Luc Besson movie. Or if you like things Japanese, from a vividly illustrated manga. I stress on the Japanese link because the Twizy could very well wear a Nissan badge in markets where the Asian brand is stronger. But I am getting ahead of myself. Let me tell you all about this electric quadricycle — hmm, too cumbersome — I’d rather call it an ePod.
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