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Renault Wind Roadster 1.2 TCe 100 Collection

Click to view picture gallery“Renault’s Wind Roadster — being
  French, perhaps ‘mistral
might
  have been a better moniker but it
s
  no wind-up either
...”


THE WIND IS A SMALL TWO-SEAT COUPE-ROADSTER developed by RenaultSport with a clever, electrically-operated solid folding roof that pivots back through 180 degrees to lie under the rear boot lid and it doesn't appear to take away any boot space.

The Wind is based on Renault's Twingo city car and it looks good with the roof up or down. The really good news is that it doesn't suffer from the huge out-of-proportion rear deck that most small folding roof models suffer from. Rivals include the Mazda MX-5 Roadster Coupe, the Peugeot 207 CC and the MINI Convertible.

Wind prices range from £15,500 to £18,200 with Dynamique, Dynamique S and Collection specification levels. There are two petrol engine options for each trim level, a 1.2-litre turbocharged engine and a 1.6-litre naturally-aspirated unit with, respectively, 99bhp and 131bhp power outputs.

The Collection versions are limited edition models with only 200 available. These versions have chrome-effect door mirrors, heated part-leather seats and a glossy black roof.

The space for the two
occupants is reasonably good for a city car
platform with plenty
of headroom, and the
270 litres of boot space
is impressive and
well-shaped thanks to
the very clever folding
roof design
...”
The Dynamique models have 16-inch alloys, air conditioning, electrically-operated and heated door mirrors, cruise control, front fog lights, sports-style seats and a good sound system. Dynamique S versions gain 17-inch alloys, alarm, auto headlights and wipers, upgraded sound system and Bluetooth connectivity.

All models have electronic stability control, power steering, anti-lock braking, tinted windows, trip computer, remote central locking and a tyre inflation kit — there's not a spare wheel option.

Despite measuring just 3,833mm long, the space for the two occupants is reasonably good for a city car platform; there's plenty of headroom and the 270-litre boot is impressive and well-shaped thanks to the very clever folding roof design.

Rear visibility is limited whether you're driving with the hood up or down. With the roof down wind noise is shut out very well; with the hood down and windows up wind intrusion is evident but it will not ruffle the hairstyle to any great extent. Take note that if it rains suddenly the roof can only be closed once the car is at a standstill with the handbrake on.

The interior is pretty well equipped but the dashboard looks cheap because the plastics are hard and the colour is drab. The exterior, however, looks very distinctive and the proportions are well balanced — the Wind is as nippy and agile as it looks.

The 1.2-litre, 99bhp turbocharged petrol engine produces 112lb ft of torque at 3,500rpm and it provides good mid-range performance for its size — actually just the kind of engine response we need for our A and B roads. Top speed is 118mph, 0-62mph takes 10.5 seconds and the average fuel consumption is quoted as 44.8mpg with CO2 emissions of 145g/km so the road tax is a fairly friendly £125 a year. Insurance, too, is not so costly thanks to the Group 15E rating.

The Wind corners really
well with plenty
of front-end grip
although the low speed
ride is firm
and can be unsettled
over poorer surfaces
...”
The optional 1.6-litre 131bhp non-turbocharged petrol engine offers more top-end performance but it lacks the eagerness and responsiveness of the smaller engine in the mid-range.

Top speed is 125mph with 0-62mph taking 9.2 seconds. Fuel economy is 40.9mpg and CO2 emissions 160g/km, so road tax is £155 a year. Insurance is Group 20E.

Being a product of RenaultSport, the Wind's original Twingo platform has been strengthened and bracing struts introduced to improve structural rigidity, especially with the roof down. There is some body shake but not much. The Wind corners really well with plenty of front-end grip although the low speed ride is firm and can be unsettled over poorer surfaces.

The Wind makes a good addition to the expanding Renault range and the 1.2-litre model in particular, priced from £15,500, offers pretty good value for money as well as some unique styling — you could even say it's a breath of fresh air…

While sensitive souls might be put off by the name, the only real demerits are the rear visibility and the bland dashboard. On the positive side, the Wind is smart to look at, fun to drive, well priced, well equipped and, thanks to its very clever folding roof, provides good boot space. It's also compact but with enough space for two. — David Miles

Renault Wind Roadster 1.2 TCe 100 Collection
| £17,300
Maximum speed: 118mph | 0-62mph: 10.5 seconds | Overall MPG: 44.8mpg
Power: 99bhp | Torque: 112lb ft | CO2 145g/km