Renault Wind? It should be called Renault Roar. This weirdly cute two-door, two-seat flip-top coupe drums up road noise that sounds like a stream of marbles rolling down a corrugated iron roof.
You turn the radio up, and wonder why they installed Bluetooth because you’ll struggle to hear anyone that rings and eventually, you’ll enjoy the sound of silence when the Renault rolls to a an ear-calming halt.
This is the Wind 1.6 Dynamique S we’re talking about, which rides on some rather stylish 17in alloys and fatter tyres, so the 16in shod 1.2 version may be better. The S doesn’t make this din on every British road – just the ones that haven’t been surfaced with satin smooth, fine-grained Tarmac, which is most of them.
You’d think that by now, even for a small car with the relatively stiff suspension bushing needed to produce its pleasingly capable chassis, there’d be ways to overcome this noisy pitfall.
And this is not the only area in which the Wind has blown back into a less polished past. Take the gearchange, for which you’ll need a firm, precise hand. Shift into fifth, and it’s as if you’re snapping a sapling, the lever’s movement slushy, springy and resistant until the cogs click home.
The rest of the ratios offer themselves up more readily, but this is not a transmission from which you’ll be extracting much mechanically tactile delight.
Which is a surprise, given that Renault has been making transverse-engined front-drive cars for over 25 years now - you’d think it would have the intricacies of gearshifts and linkages permanently mastered.
The same goes for that road noise, but maybe the Wind’s engineers didn’t drive this car in Britain. Or if they did, it must have been with the roof open or on roads surfaced with velvet.
All of which is a crushing shame, because this is almost a great little car. But that tyre roar is simply too hard to live with – on most roads it’s like spending an hour in a laundrette with all the machines on spin, and has you wondering where the progress went.