Is it a Lego block with wheels? No. Is it a time traveled Tonka car from the future? Again no. So what is it? It is the Renault Kwid concept car, and is it ever fun!
Remove the w from Kwid and what is left? Kid, and perhaps that is who the Kwid is aimed at, the big kid hopping from dealership to dealership looking for an inspiring choice; achoice that will bring some pop back into the preferred mode of transport
Renault has unveiled a beauty at the Delhi Motor Show, a location that marks the first time the manufacturer has unveiled outside of Europe. Many North Americans may not have heard of Renault, but that does not make them a force not to be reckoned with. Renault has been around for a hundred plus years. They are a dominant force in Europe and their motor sports programs in Rally and Formula 1 are legendary, and they are French! Oooh La La and all that cheese, which sometimes puts them out of the box, as the Renault Kwid is quick to demonstrate.
So what is the Kwid? In short, it is a small “robust, and hyper connected,” chunky, big wheeled, colorful gum-drop jelly-bean of a car aimed at emerging markets like Brazil, India and Russia. It was conceived by teams from those countries as well as Japan and France, and Renault chose Delhi for the unveiling as a sign of commitment to that country.
Colorful may be pushing it, as the bulk is monochromatic silver, but the splashes of Renault yellow on the grill, wheels, and roof make a bold statement. The lines are pronounced, with strong wheel arches that house chunky three spoked wheels sporting big rubber. Modern day beach buggy comes to mind, with scissor doors. The headlights are slits that extend from a horizontal black brow that blossoms from the centrally located Renault insignia placed just above the proud grill. There is another splash of yellow on the doors that parallels the roof-line. In all, the design is young and full of vigor, which makes the Renault Kwid concept car a lot of fun!
That trend carries on inside where the theme is birds-nest; that is right – birds-nest. The fascia and seats are constructed with a two tone elastomer material that is suspended over hard shells. The materials and design make it look like the driver is sitting in the inside of a nest. Top marks for originality, and the seats actually look quite pleasant. The dash doubles as a control console for a flying buddy. Renault is having some fun by including a flying drone that can be launched from the roof and used as a set of “eyes in the sky.”
The proposed power-train is a 1.2 liter turbocharged gasoline engine. In addition Renault says the Kwid is E-friendly and can receive batteries to go green. Power is put to use through a dual-clutch transmission.
The Renault Kwid concept car is the cheese, French cheese. It is young, fun, daring, and vibrant. Renault has really got something here. Hopefully they have the nerve to take it from concept to production, flying buddy and all. If they do, it could be gum-drop jelly-beans for Christmas.
By Scott Wilson