Usually, when an automaker debuts a remarkably hideous concept car at a major auto show, you can be assured of two things: 1.) the engineers probably experiment with LSD and 2.) it’s highly unlikely it will ever see production. The Renault Twizy Z.E. Concept, however, has robbed us of that sense of security. While yes, the parties responsible for its construction are likely guilty of multiple counts of felony possession, Renault has announced that the Twizy Z.E. Concept – though not itself a production-intent vehicle – will serve as the forerunner for an as-yet-unnamed EV due out in 2011. According to the press release, the 900-pound Twizy Z.E. is powered by a 20-horsepower, 70 Nm motor that provides an acceleration rate similar to that of a 125cc bike, without any of the cool factor.
To prevent bystanders from mercilessly mocking you when you try in vain to overtake the kid on the Razor scooter, the Twizy Z.E.’s octagonal tire casings have been designed to create an optical illusion. The tires themselves are completely hidden from view so when in motion, only the hubcaps are visibly rotating. Renault claims this allows the Twizy Z.E. to appear as though it is gliding gracefully above the pavement.
Now this is the part where we could insert some sort of tasteless joke about the French, but
we’re too busy covering the rest of the motor show we’re above that.