The Twizy

* Three models on way by 2012 * Car/scooter, supermini and family saloon * All driven in concept model form...

The Twizy

Surely the ultimate antidote to road rage how can you get angry with someone in one of these? It's a cross between a four-wheeled scooter and a Smart car and yes, Renault is going to build it pretty much like this.

The Twizy is powered by a 15kW (20bhp) electric motor developing 52lb ft of torque from standstill, mounted in a tubular steel motorcycle-style frame.

It pulls away quite briskly Renault likens it to a 125cc motorbike but the top speed is just 47mph, while the range on a full charge is around 60 miles. But, hey it's not meant for the M1.

The car/scooter hums like an electric locomotive when it's at a standstill and whines and screams as you accelerate, although from outside you hear nothing. The remarkable thing is how stable it feels despite the narrow wheel tracks.

There'll be different types of side door to suit different climates, but you'll have to dress as if you were on a bike or scooter there'll be no air-con or heater. There will be airbags and seatbelts, though, and Renault is considering putting it through a Euro NCAP crash test.

The two occupants sit in tandem formation, and the back cushion fits in one of two ways depending on whether the passenger is an adult or child. There's a 40-litre storage area beneath.

The toy-like character of the concept car will be preserved for the showroom model, while the interface between driver and machine will be 'just like the one you have with your mobile phone', says Renault.

The Twizy will cost about the same as a high-end scooter.

Electric Renaults driven
[Electric Renaults on video]( mms://