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First look: Renault’s Wind of change

We have lift-off: The Twingo-based Wind is expecting to blow into Australia late this year.

Renault unveils new compact coupe-cabrio, complete with unique centre-pivot roof

4 Feb 2010

RENAULT has unveiled the first images of its new compact coupe-convertible, known as the Wind, ahead of its global debut at the Geneva motor show on March 2.

Although European sales, including right-hand drive sales in the UK, will start in June, Australian deliveries for the Twingo-based Wind are not anticipated until late 2010, at the earliest.

Details are scarce at this stage, although Renault has revealed that the Wind features a unique retractable hard-top with a central pivot (a la the Ferrari 575 Superamerica) which can open in a claimed 12 seconds – around eight seconds quicker than others in its class.

Renault also claims that the Wind will offer a useful 270 litres in maximum luggage volume, whether the roof is open or closed, which is all the more impressive considering the car is shorter (at 3830mm long) than its most obvious rival, the circa-$35,000 Peugeot 207 CC.

Much of that is due to the fact that Renault has not included rear seats, leaving the Wind as a two-seater rather than a 2+2, which is the case with the 207 CC (which is 4037mm long and offers 187 litres of cargo space with the rear seats in place, or 449 litres with them folded).

35 center imageEven the regular Twingo hatchback offers just 230 litres in luggage room.

While the Wind is built off the same platform as the Twingo light car sold overseas, and has an obvious resemblance to Twingo at the front end, Renault is set position the CC further upmarket with the unique cabin and features from higher-end models.

Renaultsport and Gordini model variants could come at later date, although overseas reports indicate that at launch in Europe the Wind will be offered a 1.2-litre petrol engine and a 1.6-litre unit from the Renaultsport stable, which in the Twingo RS hatch produces 98kW/160Nm and can reach 100km/h in a reported 8.7 seconds.

The latter is almost certain to be the engine used for Australia, in line with Renault Australia’s move to position the Clio upmarket and overlook more mainstream variants.

“With its novel electric roof that pivots open in just 12 seconds, Renault Wind brings a completely different take on a car for drivers who enjoy wind-in-the-hair motoring,” Renault said. “Wind is aimed at motorists who lust after a car that is not only distinctive and compact, but also convertible yet practical enough for everyday use.

“True to Renault's brand signature ‘Drive the Change’, Wind makes passion affordable for everyone.”

The Wind will be shown at Geneva alongside the Megane coupe-convertible, which as GoAuto has reported will also make its world debut at the Swiss show. The Megane CC will arrive in Australia in the final quarter.

Other Renault models due for release in Australia in 2010 include a facelifted Clio RS (and later the Clio RS Gordini), all-new Megane hatchback and redesigned Kangoo van.

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