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First Look: Renault Wind Hardtop Convertible

Six years later the concept becomes production reality.

by on Feb.03, 2010

Wind's hardtop simply flips back into the trunk.

We first got wind of this new car half a dozen years years ago at the  Geneva Motor Show, only when it reappears on the French maker’s stand this time around, the Wind will no longer be a concept. Rather it will enter production later this year.

The diminutive two-seat sporty car, at 151 inches of overall length, is both a coupe and roadster.

Actually, hardtop roadsters are common in Europe where Ford, Volvo, Peugeot and Citroen all offer them in the larger C-car or compact size class. I believe it was the Mercedes-Benz SLK that pioneered the concept – with a mind-bogglingly complex and impressive  hydro-electric retraction mechanism – decades ago.

Voila' in 12 seconds.

What makes Wind different, aside from its tiny BMW Mini size, is its simplified roof mechanism. Rather than multiple folding pieces and complicated actuating mechanisms, the Wind’s roof has a simple hinge, and it just flips backward into the trunk.

Not only is this quick – 12 seconds from hardtop to convertible, the luggage space does not change whatever the position of the roof.

No other specifications have been released by Renault thus far, but this is shaping up to be a fun front-drive car – at an inexpensive price.