x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Electrifying experience for Formula One stars who zipped through Dubai

Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s Mark Webber and Caterham’s Charles Pic explored Dubai, cruising through the city's iconic roads and alleys, in the electric-powered Renault Twizy.

Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s Mark Webber cruised through Dubai in a battery-powered electric vehicle – the Renault Twizy. Photo Courtesy-Renault
Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s Mark Webber cruised through Dubai in a battery-powered electric vehicle – the Renault Twizy. Photo Courtesy-Renault

DUBAI // Two Formula One stars drove through the streets of Dubai last week in an unlikely vehicle.

Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s Mark Webber and Caterham’s Charles Pic cruised through the city in a battery-powered electric vehicle – the Renault Twizy.

A far cry from their high-powered F1 cars, it has a top speed of 80kph, thanks to a 17 horse power electric engine.

The Twizy has a range of 100km and can be fully recharged in three and half hours from a domestic socket.

The pair toured the roads of Jumeirah, Downtown Dubai, and Safa Park in the tiny Twizys, which are only 2.34 metres long and 1.24 metres wide.

“Driving down Dubai’s iconic roads and alleys was an amazing experience,” said Webber.

“What made it even more special was the fact that the Twizy is a green car. The silence inside the vehicle was pretty impressive.”

“We enjoyed our time in the UAE, more so with the interesting Renault Twizy,” said Pic.

“I had a pleasant drive in a 100 per cent electric car, which could be the star car of the future. It was a great experience to drive the car in such a wonderful place,” he said.

The spectacle was part of a promotional campaign by Renault for the eco-friendly car, which comes in two variants – the standard, or a scaled-back model that does not require a driving licence given the size of the engine.

The company says that the car “will appeal to busy, car-owning city dwellers seeking a second vehicle, as well as to younger drivers looking for a safe way to start driving with a vehicle that does not require a licence”.

“In the Middle East, the awareness for the environment is growing day by day,” said Peyman Kargar, Renault Middle East’s managing director.

“We can see more and more interest for electric vehicles. Renault is the leader in the market with a complete range of 100 per cent electric vehicles for all customers. We wanted to raise the awareness on Zero Emission Technology with Renault Twizy on top of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix,” he said.

The Renault Twizy will be available for purchase in the UAE in 2014.

A video of the drive can be found at: http://www.youtube.com/RenaultME

ksinclair@thenational.ae