Renault Twizy electric motor, drive and performance

The Twizy feels nippy around town, but the ride and refinement are poor

0-62mph Top speed Driven wheels Power
N/a 50mph Rear 17bhp

The instant torque from the Twizy’s electric motor means it takes off from a standstill with pleasing speed. The steering has go-kart-like feel, which is fun, but the ride quality is much too firm for comfort.

Renault Twizy electric motor, 0-62mph and acceleration

All Twizys use the same electric motor – a 17bhp unit that provides gratifying speed, especially off the line. Or at least speed that feels gratifying from the exposed Twizy cockpit, as stark analysis of the numbers reveals you can reach 30mph in just over six seconds from zero.

There’s no 0-62mph time, as the Twizy runs out of puff at 50mph, but Renault reckons it takes a shade over eight seconds to accelerate from 18mph to flat out. However you look at it, the Renault Twizy performance is good enough to keep up with city-centre traffic, and it feels fast enough from the driving seat.

It’s easy to drive too, with a simple button to select Drive or Reverse, and regenerative braking that means the Twizy slows by itself as you lift off the accelerator – so you don’t need to use the brake pedal much. The motor is as quiet as you’d expect at low speed, but it does drone a bit as you gather pace; with the wind noise and the bumpy ride, this can make longer journeys feel quite tiring.

Handling

The Renaultsport racing division was involved in making the Twizy handle, which is perhaps partly why the suspension is so uncomfortably harsh. Over the pockmarked streets of urban Britain, the Twizy thumps and crashes in a manner that’s always uncomfortable and occasionally unnerving at speed, as big potholes can make you lose contact with your seat.

In fact, the poor ride quality is one of the few areas where the Twizy comes off second-best to the average motorcycle or scooter. The trade-off is handling that’s actually rather fun. The Twizy has pleasingly direct steering and plenty of grip, so feels a bit like a go-kart as you zip around town.