Live from the launch: Renault Wind
Car manufacturers have come up with some bizarre names for their vehicles in the past, but there is often a reason behind it.
But the reason Renault has given for naming its new supermini convertible the Wind is that they wanted it to be an international name. Apparently being 'in the wind' (or 'dans le vent') in France means you are trendy, but Renault reckons international buyers wouldn't take to a car called the 'Vent'.So the Wind was born – and ignoring all the flatulence connotations the name almost suits it. The hardtop roof comes off in just 12 seconds and doesn't impose on the boot space so you are inspired to drive open to the elements as much as possible.
Renault says the Wind is set just between the Clio and the Twingo in size, and in some areas, such as the boot, it certainly feels it, but in others it feels a bit smaller. It is fairly cosy in the front (and only) two seats, a fact not helped by the high window line and the roll bars set behind your head. The huge steering wheel also makes you feel like you are small in comparison to what is quite a diminutive car.
There are only two engines available, and so far we have driven the more powerful 131bhp 1.6-litre version. It is not as lively as you might hope lower down the rev range, but it still gives a bit of zip when needed if you get the needle flying closer to the limit. It also holds its own should you want to take it on the occasional motorway trip.
We'll be in the smaller engine version later to see if that is the better posing option – the task this car is surely going to be asked to fulfil most frequently.