snowgood

I’ve got Wind

In Renault on May 24, 2011 at 6:21 pm

Here’s my latest.

A Renault Wind 1.2 TCE GT Line.

Press the magic button and the roof stows away in the just 12 seconds. Add another 12 on the open road the turbulence inside the cabin is phenomenal.

At this stage I should point out I don’t eat baked beans or rhubarb, oh no.

Those crafty frogs have designed their latest roadster with a screen that’s too low, and seats that are too high.

Is that a problem?

Could be, but after 16 months tin top motoring I’m inclined to think not.

If I’d wanted something more “normal” I could have tried a Mini One convertible, or a Mazda MX5. After years of boring company cars I’m through with normality.

I prefer left field.

In my first few weeks I’ve covered over 2000 miles, and averaged 37.5 mpg. “Brainy” people have suggested I’d get better economy with the roof up! Duh!

Cobblers.

The turbulence with the roof down enables me to keep within the speed limit.  Put the roof up and speed rises accordingly, with a net loss of a few fractions of economy.

The dry weather has afforded an opportunity to go topless for about 75% of the time. My face is getting red from the blustery wind, and sun’s UV and I’m not about to start using sun cream.

Update: 

I’m just back from the Renault’s second trip to London.  No matter how much I sing the praises of the little batmobile I have to admit it’s very tiring in comparison with the 268bhp BMW Z4 coupe I just drove back from Belgium.

Ragging the Renault  all the way home mpg has dropped into the 36 mpg range, whilst a 3.0 litre Z4 loped along getting 30 mpg.

I really enjoyed pressing on even in heavy rain.  My personal challenge was to make sure I could still see where I was going without relying too heavily on the wipers.  Keeping within the legal limit and using the wipers in the normal fashion it wasn’t long before the wind pressure spilt swept rain into the open cabin.  Knock off the auto wipers surprisingly the view out stayed pretty good, and the cabin stayed dry.

Over 200 odd miles I managed to average 68 mph, but then the roads were pretty deserted.

4000 Miles

We’ve been together nearly two months now, and I think i’ve established what’s good and not so good about this little roadster.  Firstly it quite patently isn’t a “Grand Tourer”.  The road noise wears me out in half the time of a “normal” car.

Secondly it isn’t a “Sports Car”.  It hasn’t got enough grunt to be sporting, especially away from the lights or up a long hill against any diesel repmobile.

What is it then?

Well, it’s a fun car for twisty A and B roads, and fabulous with the roof down at speeds below 50 mph. Old style pre-motorway routes then just like you get in Cornwall.  We just took it to Cornwall with luggage for 2 and clutter for 6 and it all squeezed into the boot without problem.

The more I look at it the more I am coming round to the fact it’s pretty. People keep making favourable comments, and even though there’s no open rear deck it feels wonderfully breezy on a hot day.

Now the fuel meter is reading 36.3 mpg I’d have to say it isn’t even that economical.  But it’s a car you do want to just get in and drive, even when you’ve nowhere particualry to go.  How many £12,000 new cars make you want to just get in and drive?  Not many!

P.S. We were together for 15,000 miles and eventually the road noise and disappointing economy became too much.  I said goodbye to the Renault in November 2011.  I lost £5000 when I traded it in, and a few weeks later Renault UK confirmed this model is being dropped from their range due to disappointing sales.

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