The 17-horsepower Twizy, which has a top speed of about 50 miles per hour and can be recharged in less than four hours, starts at 6,690 British pounds ($10,600 U.S. at today's exchange rates). That low price is offset by the fact that buyers must also rent the car's battery for 45 British pounds a month under a three-year contract that allows for 4,500 miles a year of driving. Other options include £545 for "scissor doors." The Twizy is 92 inches long, or about a foot shorter than the Smart ForTwo.
To promote the Twizy, Renault has partnered with DJ David Guetta. The car appeared in his "Where Them Girls At" video and is now showing up in the promotional clip for the song "Alphabeat." Independent drivers are also taking test drives in Ibiza. You can see videos of both down below.
Next year, Renault start sales of a 5.3-horsepower version of the Twizy that will have a top speed of 28 miles per hour. That car – should we still call it that? – can be legally driven by people at least 16 years old, even without a drivers license, because of the vehicle's light weight.
Renault Twizy two-seater compact, arguably the most unique production vehicle on the road today, begins showroom launch today, priced from £6,690 OTR. Battery hire available from £45 per month (based on 4,500 per miles per year/3 year contract)
Today also sees UK marketing launch of new David and Cathy Guetta partnership, with online and TV Twizy ad, 'Plug Into The Positive Energy'. As part of their global ambassador programme, it features top DJ's new song 'Alphabeat', set in futuristic club, 'Party Station'
Twizy available in three trim levels: Urban, Colour and Technic
Several options include scissor doors (£545) and metallic paint £195. All prices include VAT
Wide range of accessories includes child booster seat £55, driver and passenger blanket £110, 50-litre leisure bag £95 and alloy wheels £340
Lower powered (5hp) and cheaper Twizy 45 could come to the UK in January 2013, for drivers aged 16 and over, without the need for full driving licence, based on new **European AM category for mopeds and light quadricycles
Renault's stunning new electric two-seater, Twizy, is sending shockwaves through the UK today after its arrival at the brand's 22-strong network of Z.E. Expert dealerships.
The jaw-dropping Twizys are now available for test drives around the UK, primarily at dealers with larger suburban and urban populations, in keeping with the car's likely target customers and driving usage. The rest of the brand's official network will have their demo and display vehicles on 20th April.
Today also sees the start of the UK marketing campaign for Twizy featuring top DJ David Guetta and his wife Cathy, as part of their global ambassador partnership with Renault. The uplifting new online and TV ad campaign entitled 'Plug Into The Positive Energy', set in a fictional futuristic club, 'Party Station', where the dancefloor generates the electricity to charge the Twizys parked underneath, includes David's new song 'Alphabeat'. Created in both 30- and 60-second formats, the ad sparks into life tonight in a prime time slot on Channel 4's Hollyoaks, followed by Britain's Got Talent on ITV tomorrow, supported by a complete 24-hour homepage takeover of MSN UK. The ad is also set to air on Facebook and YouTube.
Renault's baby electric vehicle has already caused quite a stir in Ibiza in recent weeks where international media have been getting behind the wheel of arguably one of the world's most intriguing automotive creations ever.
With a tempting on-the-road price from just £6,690, it is the third of the French manufacturer's groundbreaking electric vehicle range to hit the UK market and undoubtedly the most striking.
The futuristic Twizy is just 2.34 metres long by 1.24 metres wide and is designed for a driver and one passenger to sit in tandem. The stylish, zero emission in road use, two-seater compact is charged using a standard three-pin plug. Full charge takes three and a half hours, costing around £1 (depending on energy supplier and tariff), giving a range of around 60 miles, making electric motoring practical, economic and environmentally friendly.
Renault's eye-catching Twizy is powered by a 13kW (17hp) motor with a limited top speed of around 50 mph. The bodywork is extremely visible in traffic to other road users and both occupants are protected by a deformable structure, while the outboard position of the four wheels and the lateral beams located either side of the chassis provide protection on either side.
The lower powered version, Twizy 45 (5hp), 45 kph/28 mph), was not originally planned for the UK market, however, recent confirmation that a new category of European licence – AM – for 16 year olds and over, comes into effect in the UK from 19th January 2013, means that Renault UK are now studying its sales potential.
Its safety retention systems include a driver's airbag, a three-point seatbelt and with additional strap for the driver, and a three-point safety belt at the rear. Also, since Renault Twizy's occupants are protected and held in place, they are under no requirement to wear any sort of protective gear or helmet.
With such unique looks, unsurprisingly, there are several more uncommon options and accessories than on your average four-wheeled mode of transport. Among them are scissor doors (£545), driver and passenger blanket £110 and a 50-litre leisure bag £95 which sits on the rear seat and clips into the chassis so that objects stay firmly in place. Rounding off the more traditional enhancements are metallic paint for £195, a child booster seat at £55, and alloy wheels for £340. All prices include VAT.
Thanks to its four-wheeled chassis and extremely low centre of gravity, Renault's unique Twizy delivers a grin-inducing driving experience, while disc brakes all-round ensure precise, efficient stopping power.
Twizy is available from £6,690 on-the-road for the Urban model with a monthly battery lease cost of £45 including VAT for a 36 month/4,500 miles per year agreement.
For more information on arguably the most distinctive vehicle on the UK's roads, see http://www.renault.co.uk/ze or visit your nearest Renault Z.E. Expert dealership.
**http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring/DriverLicensing/DG_201188 (classification is unladen mass of up to 350kg, maximum speed of 45 kph)