File this under: Forgotten, tiny, open-top cars.
Many forgotten cars are forgotten because a lot of time has passed between now and the time they were made. In the case of the Renault Wind nearly no time has passed at all. Rather than being forgotten, it was barely noticed in the first place. This correspondent has seen just one in the wild. Let’s take a brief pause from the hurly-burly of the here and now to consider one of the Renault’s more puzzling efforts of recent years. It seems to have been competitor for the 2004 Opel Tigra which ceased production in 2010.
The Renault Wind was presented as a concept-car name at the Paris motor show in 2004. Renault stayed true to the name including spelling, capitalisation and pronunciation when it was appended to a car for series production in 2010, one resembling the concept car to a very small extent. The production Wind was available with two engines: the 1.2 litre D4FT turbo 4 and the 1.6 litre K4M-RS I4. It seated two people rather than three, as the 2004 show car did. And Twingo underpinnings underpinned the car.
The little car garnered a very nice write-up from the British Broadcasting Corporation’s “Top Gear” journal. “The cheeky Wind blows a welcome blast of fresh air into Renault’s range,” they said. To drive, the car had a “nimble, athletic” feel. The same journal decided that the 1.2 litre engine suited the car best.
Evo magazine said this in November 2010: “…the Wind isn’t a sports car. Nor, in an enthusiast sense, is it meant to be. That doesn’t stop it being the purest, neatest and most enjoyable of the compact coupe-cabrios.” When new the Wind cost £15,500-£18,200. And for the same money, buyers could choose a Mazda MX-5 or a Peugeot 207 CC. Or a Mercedes A-class.
Evidently most people chose other ways to spend their money. Renault removed the car from its UK range in 2012 and killed it entirely in 2013. It is, we reckon a sure-fire future classic. When values have reached their lowest point they can only rise thereafter. Why did it not succeed?
Because, we reckon, not enough people wanted a car this small to be this expensive. At £10,000 it would have sold like cakes that had been freshly baked. In the £15,500 range it was up against too many more useful vehicles.