Sure-Fire Future Classic: 2010 Renault Wind

File this under: Forgotten, tiny, open-top cars.

2010 Renault Wind
2010 Renault Wind

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.

2004 Renault Wind. True to concept car tradition, nothing was carried over at all when it reach production. Except the name.
2004 Renault Wind. True to concept car tradition, nothing was carried over at all when it reached production. Except the name.

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.

2004 Opel Tigra. Image courtesy of Wikipedia
2004 Opel Tigra. Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

3 thoughts on “Sure-Fire Future Classic: 2010 Renault Wind”

  1. There’s likely an industry demographic for the average owner of this sort of car, which is the young, single, professional woman. These people’s income can vary greatly, which is why lower cost might well have helped sales. However, there’s another factor. Whereas in market research, a young woman might well say this is just the sort of car she’d like, in practice it might be different. Notoriously self-centred men might well stint their families and ignore their partners to buy that Caterham Seven but, to risk being crassly generalising, many women are a bit more outgoing and generous and would end up wondering how they could give their friends a lift or help them shift their possessions when they finally leave that self-regarding idiot who spends all his time tinkering about with a Caterham. Not being a sports car and having a tin roof, this aspires to being practical, but of course it is nothing like that. In its modest way, just like a Veyron, this is not a car for the real world.

  2. I must look at the cost of the Tigra for comparison.
    Renault probably argued that this was a halo model. If it had look like the show car and cost 12,200 GBP and had a 1.6 engine then yes. But it didn´t. Renault don´t understand specialist cars, I would contend. I think there are plenty of self-centred young women who have money and an interest in flashy cars but there are not enough stupid, self-centred young women who have money and an interest in flashy cars. Only a person inclined to stupidity would pay this much money when other, much better alternatives existed. It will be a future classic though. It´s rare and based on a simple enough car to be maintainable.

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