Renault Kicks It Old School

Sony captured lightning in a bottle in the 1980s with its Walkman.

Sony captured lightning in a bottle in the 1980s with its Walkman. It was the audio player that others only wished they’d had. Sort of like Apple’s iPod today. But the lightning leaked out of that bottle, and they’ve been wandering around with an open bottle since, hoping to catch something.

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But what may absolutely catch on—at least in France, Belgium, Luxemburg, and Portugal—is the Renault Twingo Walkman Limited Edition. The car, which starts at €10,850 in France, brings together the fundamental funkiness of the Twingo city car with Sony’s legendary product.

Yes, there is a Sony Bluetooth radio-CD audio system installed in the car and a portable audio/video Walkman MP3 player in the mix. There are styling cues like a sport front bumper and black headlight masks; the tailgate has Walkman Limited Edition badging. The car can be fitted with two engines, both of which all the car to qualify for a €500 “eco-bonus” from the French government.

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There will be just 2,500 units produced.

While Ford is offering Sony-branded audio systems in its vehicles in the U.S., this goes far beyond that.

Clearly Renault is doing the kind of specialized personalization that more manufacturers ought to be doing in order to not just get customers, but to attract fans.