Monday 23 October 2017

Perfect antidote to misery of recession? A brand new coupe

Niamh Horan finds she's dreaming up any excuse to take her new convertible for a spin as every trip is a fun driving experience

LIFE is all about perspective. And sitting behind the wheel of the Renault Wind coupe-roadster brings a whole new outlook to life in a city weighed down by the stresses and strains of modern-day life.

For starters, the people are nicer.

They let you into their lane of traffic without hesitation -- if only to look at this unusual beast that's rarely seen on our roads.

With its muscular and sporty silhouette, high waistline, blue-tinged spotlights and 17-inch wheels, it's a real head-turner.

And doesn't everyone who opts for a convertible long to be a showstopper at heart?

I even returned to the motor one day to find people having their picture taken beside it. I kid you not -- it commands that much attention.

You also find yourself looking forward to the drive, and dreaming up any old excuse to sit behind the wheel.

"What's that we've run out of? Don't worry I'll pick some up," I selflessly offer, reaching for the keys.

Every trip is a fun experience, no more so than when I take to the open road -- top down, sun beaming, wind in my hair -- for a breath-taking ride to the Glens of Antrim.

The winding roads are devoured by its sleek nose and it negotiates the twists and bends with reassuring ease. The bucket seats inject an extra sporty feel and the delicious sound of the engine contributes to your satisfied smile.

You've got a choice of two engines. The 1.6 16v developed by RenaultSport Technologies that produces 133hp at 6,750rpm; and the Tce 100, which gives you a smooth and responsive 100-horsepower 1.2-litre turbo-charged engine.

Mind you, I did manage to run out of petrol at one stage -- but I very soon discovered that pushing a two-seater roadster is surprisingly not one bit embarrassing or difficult, especially when a kind passer-by ditches their bike and helps me to get it to safety without me ever having to ask.

I wondered would I have gotten the same offer if I had been pushing my rusty old banger?

Hmm.

Louis Vuitton luggage in the back, the boot space is very generous in this two-seater -- and, cleverly, it stays the same whether the roof is up or down (it's more or less the same size as a Clio).

It's a girl's car with a naughty edge. Indeed, I was inundated with offers from girlfriends wanting to take a spin in it. And whether with the top down on the open Curragh plains in the scorching sun on a Sunday morning, or dolled up to the nines in the heart of Dublin city centre, it adds a touch of glamour to any environment.

With a €20,000 price tag, it's a bit of a cheeky excess in these times of blasted restraint.But look at it this way -- if we're going to be dragged into this damned recession kicking and screaming we might as well get there in style!

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