PARIS –SA will introduce its Wind roadster, which features a pivoting glass top, at the upcoming Geneva auto show in March.
The Wind is the firstroadster since the Spider, which went out of production in 1999.
Renault Sport Technologies developed the car. Pricing has not been announced.
The car is not designed for performance, Renault says, which pegs target buyers as single or couples looking for a second vehicle.
The roadster features an electrically powered glass hard top supplied by France’s Saint-Gobain SA that pivots back into an area above the trunk in 12 seconds.
The design first showed up in Geneva in 2001 on Leonardo Fioravanti’s Alfa Romeo Vola concept car and since has been used by the 2005 Ferrari 575M Superamerica.
Renault says the design is reliable and less expensive than traditional folding roofs, while preserving precious trunk space. The auto maker regards trunk space as critical to the Wind’s daily usefulness and says the roadster offers more trunk room than the Clio II or Twingo.
The Wind is 151 ins. (383 cm) long, 22 ins. (56 cm) longer than the Renault Sport Twingo, also developed by RST.
The car will be manufactured in Slovenia alongside the Twingo and Clio II. It will be available with either the Twingo’s 100-hp 1.2L engine or the Sport Twingo’s 133-hp, 1.6L mill.
The Wind’s originally was shown as a concept roadster at Geneva in 2004 as a 2+1 configuration that allowed a small third passenger. But the production Wind shares nothing with that concept save the name.
The concept also had a more upright windshield and was more sensual than the production version. Although the concept was longer, the lower rear end offered 14% less trunk space than the current model.
The Renault Spider, which was introduced on the market in low numbers in 1996 after presentation at Geneva in 1995, was an expensive open car designed for racing.
About 2,000 units were produced. It did not have a top and, in early versions, the windshield was optional.