As you may know, Renault will unveil at the Geneva motor show next week the third generation of their Twingo city car. While the Twingo has always been an interesting car, the new one will be even more so : it's based on the same rear-engined, rear-wheel-drive platform at the new Smart ForTwo and ForFour.
What better occasion than this for another joint sportscar project ? Alpine and Caterham are doing it, so are Alfa Romeo and Mazda. Renault and Smart could use that new shared RWD platform to bring back two of my favourite open-top cars of the last ten years : the Smart Roadster and the Renault Wind.
The 2003 Smart Roadster, I believe, needs no introduction. You all know and love it : great looks, mid-engined, RWD, a targa top, and a terrible semi-auto gearbox (because every self-respecting small roadster needs a crippling flaw).
You may not have heard, however of the Renault Wind, introduced in 2010. Despite the rather unfortunate name (for anglophones, at least), it had a clever folding roof similar to the one you'd find on a Ferrari 575 Superamerica, a chassis tweaked by Renault Sport themselves, a choice of two punchy petrol engines, and a proper manual gearbox. Also, it looked super-weird. Unlike the Smart, however, it was FWD, being based on the second-gen Twingo.
Both cars weren't particularly successful and were killed off only three years after being brought to the market. But wouldn't it be great to see Renault and Smart develop a new small, RWD, affordable, low on power but light sportscar on this new platform of theirs ? Bring back to life the Smart Roadster everyone loved and give the Renault Wind the proper sportscar layout it always deserved ? I have no idea if it'd make any business sense, but I'd love it.