Renault Twizy drive legally without a licence

Renault has said that in 2013 it will introduce a Twizy that a 16-year-old will be able to drive without a full driving licence. It’s because it will be so light and low on power that it can be officially classified a quadricycle.The Twizy is Renault’s new two-seat electric city car, which as you can see from the picture above will be unlike any production car there’s ever been when it hots the shops in January. It sits its occupants in tandem and has a pair of weird part-doors that open upwards like a McLaren MP4-12C’s do.

It’s a car self-evidently created for an inner city environment, so with that in mind, Renault reckons it’ll make the perfect yoof runabout.

Talking to Autocar, Renault’s Andy Heiron explained a version of the Twizy could fit into the new ‘quadricycle’ category due to come in 2013, restricted to vehicles with a 28mph top speed and paltry 350kg kerb weight.

Drivers would still have to take a “basic theory and practical test,” according to Heiron, but it means that a 16-year-old would be able to drive it. As would, of course, anyone else – with or without a proper UK driving licence.

There are some issues, however, one of which is insurance: the average 16-year-old running a Twizy as a sort of posh BMX is likely to be hit with a circa-£4,000 annual insurance premium.

Added to the £6,000 the limited Twizy is likely to cost, that’s £10,000 for a year’s dawdling about town. You could buy a lot of bus passes and Pokemons for that.

The full fat Twizy goes on sale in January 2013, priced from £7,000 plus an obligatory £40 per month battery lease cost with a three-year standard agreement.

It weighs 450kg and has a 50mph top speed, meaning Renault will have to shave a hefty 100kg of its mass and shackle it by 22mph to get it down to quadricycle spec.

A smaller battery and electric motor should partly do the trick, but it’s difficult to see how Renault could get much more weight out of the body.