Steve Cropley, Editor-in-Chief of Autocar, whose column I always read, recently drove the prototype Renault Wind cabriolet and was full of praise for its 2+1 seating. He says that for families, a three-seat roadster would make a good second car. A parent with two kids would find it useful, notably on the school run.
Being a poor mathematician I can’t understand this. The Renault Wind, if it goes into production, will have a central adult-size back seat, which will accommodate a third passenger if his or her feet and lower legs go between the front seats there is nothing new here, — Salmson did this on one of its very early sportscars.
My problem is thinking of the fuss there could be if one of the short kids doesn’t like the single rear seat. On a cabrio this should be covered by the roof: in Cropley’s report I found no confirmation of this, but Renault UK’s Press Office was very quickly able to tell me that it is.
Of course, there is nothing new about a tail seat Many smaller sportscars had them when a sporty pointed rear end was usual, which left no space for more than one funk-hole. However, with concentration an aid to accident-free driving, wouldn’t 1+2 seating be better?
This is what Armstrong-Siddeley’s Stoneleigh V-twin 998cc light car found room for in 1922, its driver sitting centrally, passengers behind him, so affording no direct distraction apart from any advice yelled from a scared back-seater. This £155 1+2-seater was retained for 1923, but was joined by a £165 two-seater with space for one, or at a pinch, two more adults behind, devoted couples disliking the other arrangement. Never mind; I just thought 1+2 might contribute to safer driving, but I realise there is no room for this on the proposed Renault