Renault is eyeing up the Mazda MX-5 and Fiat Barchetta roadster market with this affordable soft-top concept named Wind, to be unveiled at the Geneva show next month.
The baby convertible, codenamed Z15, could become a showroom reality and is strong evidence that Renault has moved into a second phase of its design redefinition.
Wind was styled by Michel Jardin’s design team. Design senior vice-president Patrick le Quément said its lines were inspired by a ‘a pebble in a river’, as can be appreciated from an aerial perspective (picture).
Le Quément refused to commit on any production version, but hinted that it was production feasible. ‘This is a reasonable dream,’ he told Autocar. ‘It’s not the start of a production car at this stage, but a very interesting and realistic proposition.’
Based on the B-platform borrowed from the Nissan Micra and next-generation Renault Clio, Wind has a 136bhp 2.0-litre engine transversely mounted in the front and driving through a robotised six-speed ‘manumatic’ to the front wheels.
Renault claims 0-62mph in 8.5sec and le Quément suggested a final production car could be tuned for greater horsepower and a Renaultsport badge.
The roadster is distinguished by rounded corners, plunging bonnet and boot lines, and a Chris Bangle-aping mixture of concave and convex surfaces punctuated by prominent creases.
Other exterior highlights include slender, LED-equipped head- and tail-lights, a subtle bonnet-mounted air dam, and a split front air intake hiding dual radiators that allow a lower front end with a shorter overhang. Supplier Valeo says it can provide dual radiator components for Renault’s existing road cars straight away.