Enough. If you have a few thou and an interest in the nether reaches of the motoring classifieds, the Wind could be right up your alley. We’ve already said it’s a coupé-convertible. What we didn’t say is that its electrically powered roof takes just 12sec to fold magically and neatly away into the top of the boot, without affecting that receptacle’s generous 270-litre capacity.
The model was offered with a choice of two petrol engines: a 131bhp 1.6-litre VVTi from the Renault Sport Twingo or a 99bhp 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol. The 1.6 is a bit of a screamer while the 1.2 produces more torque right where you need it. That said, the 1.6 sounds a lot better and that’s before you avail yourself of its special wind-release mechanism. On the left side of the air intake is a rubber flap about the size of a credit card. Removing it gives the intake noise a little extra ‘bite’ at higher revs without affecting cruising refinement.
The Wind was based on the Twingo chassis – tuned, so it was said, by Renault Sport’s finest. The electric power steering is light and lacking in feel but the little car turns into corners crisply, remains composed and possesses bags of grip. The mechanicals are straight out of the Renault parts bin, and if the few mechanics we spoke to who had direct experience of the car are to be believed, it’s very reliable. In fact, never mind them: one owner claims to have driven a total of 200,000 miles in his two Winds without incident.
Air conditioning, alloy wheels, sports seats and cruise control were all standard fitments. Higher-spec versions got climate control and part-leather seats. GT Line trim is the best but look out for the special- edition Wind Collection. As this is written, one dealer wants £3495 for his one-owner, 2010-reg Wind Collection 1.2 TCe with 84,000 miles and full service history. Only 200 were made and, given that total Wind numbers are small in any case, it could be that inexpensive curio you’ve been looking for.
How to get one your garage:
An expert’s view, ALEC COBB, WIND OWNER: “I bought my Wind, a 2011-reg 1.2 TCe GT Line, two years ago. It had only done 20,000 miles but has since racked up another 40,000. I had the cambelt changed last year for £450, which seemed reasonable. There have been two issues. The first was when a front ball joint started knocking and needed replacing and the other when a boot strut failed.
The lid’s quite heavy so I guess the struts are under some strain. I say two issues but there is a third: the fact that even specialist workshops are unfamiliar with the model. The Wind shares many parts with other Renaults but it does have its peculiarities and it would be reassuring knowing a mechanic is aware of them.”