Renault Launches Terrible Twizy Smartphone Race App in Austria, Offers Real-Life Twizy Electric Car to Best Virtual Driver

Without a shadow of a doubt, the Renault Twizy is a car that everyone should drive at least once in their life. Just 91 inches long, 47 inches wide and 57 inches high and weighing just 992 pounds, the tiny two-seat urban runabout might look more like a funfair bumper car than it does a road-legal vehicle, but strap yourself into its four-point seatbelt, release its hand-operated parking brake, and you’ll quickly find why so many people — including racing legend Sir Stirling Moss — love the Twizy so much.

Our former staff fleet car Twizy taught us how fun this little car could be.

Our former staff fleet car Twizy taught us how fun this little car could be.

Despite its tiny dimensions, the Twizy 80 — the most powerful version of the two-seater with a 13 kilowatt rear-wheel electric drivetrain — is limited to a top speed of just 52 mph, yet its Renault Motorsport-tuned chassis can wind through most corners at the kind of speeds only possible on a motorcycle. Responsive, direct in its steering and quick to stop, the tiny Twizy is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

Naturally, not everyone can get access to a Twizy, but if you happen to Live in Austria, you can do so virtually thanks to a new smartphone app recently launched by Renault Austria. Called the Renault Racing Cup 2015, those who download the app are given a chance to race the all-electric quadricycle around 9 different Austrian provinces in a range of different guises, from the basic yet functional doorless Twizy through to the Twizy Cargo and of course, the crazy, Formula 1-inspired Twizy RenaultSport F1 concept car — which packs a race-bred KERS system to give a top speed of 68 mph.

So far, so good. But having looked at the video of the app above — and reading some of the reviews of the app left by early downloaders — we’ve got to say that the Renault Racing Cup 2015 isn’t all that. Sadly, the graphics are blocky, the gameplay supposedly buggy, and the physics engine more than a tad unrealistic.

But we should note however that the game isn’t designed to be the next iRacing, Forza or even Need for Speed. In fact, we think that old gamer classic Midtown Madness (we’re talking the first generation here) probably has better graphics and physics realism than Renault’s iOS and Android game.

Instead, it’s the latest in a long line of social-media ad campaigns designed to get people talking about Renault’s diminutive plug-in car.

We think that old gamer classic Midtown Madness (we’re talking the first generation here) probably has better graphics and physics realism than Renault’s iOS and Android game.

Live in Austria, survive the terrible graphics, and you could win a Twizy.

Live in Austria, survive the terrible graphics, and you could win a Twizy.

Promoted heavily on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus, this less-than-realistic app is the front to a competition being run by Renault Austria in which one lucky person will win a real Renault Twizy.

The competition, which started on Monday and runs until the end of July, promises to reward the virtual racer with the best time posted by the end of July with a real Renault Twizy.  Sadly, the car on offer won’t be the race-going Twizy RenaultSport F1 Concept Car, but for Renault’s target Twizy audience — young, social media-savvy adults who are looking for their first car — we think winning a Twizy of any sort will be a big deal.

Were we eligible — which we’re not on account of not being a resident of Austria as well as our own internal ethics stepping in to prevent any conflict of interests — we’d certainly forgive the 1990s gameplay if we thought we could win a car at the end of it.

Of course, this isn’t the first time Renault has turned to the digital realm to promote its two-seat electric runabout. Back in 2012, Renault cut a deal with EA Games to offer residents of Sims 3 the chance to own a tiny Renault Twizy on their tiny, computer-generated driveways. Then, more recently, a UK-based ad company devised an ad campaign in which a Twizy was given to a blogger to drive until such point as they ceased posting about it on social media networks — at which point the car would run ‘out of charge’ and it would be passed onto the next person.

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