You know that adage about how headlines that end with a question mark can all be answered by the word “no?” Well, feel free to try it out right here, right now, because the result you’ll get is exactly what I’m hoping for: no. As in, no, there has never been a car/wheel combination that fits better than the Renault Twingo and these odd, asymmetrical Toora wheels that fell into my eyeballs’ metaphorical laps today. Let’s consider these, shall we?
I wasn’t aware of these wheels until I happened to see this tweet from ex-Jalop and noted Hungarian gadabout Máté Petrány:
I was scrolling through my feed with the boredom of a professional procrastinator when these caught my gaze and seized it, like a Jack Russel terrier on a mustard-lubricated bratwurst ejected from a bun.
Dear lord, I thought to myself, as several partially masticated Starbursts dropped noisily out of my gaping mouth and onto my keyboard. What am I looking at here? Why does it draw me in so? How can I serve whatever this is, to advance whatever goals it may have?
A quick chug of the searing-hot, retchingly bitter Broth of Knowledge that boils constantly in an old cauldron in my basement soon provided the answer I sought: These are Toora wheels, designed specially for the Twingo.
These are aftermarket wheels, but this is one of those cases where the ideal wheel combination isn’t from the original manufacturer. Even though Renault’s original design, penned by Patrick Le Quément, is an absolute masterpiece of innovative small car design, a friendly and highly useful one-box that was like almost nothing that came before — the design of the factory wheels, while not bad, weren’t really up to the same level of originality as the rest of the car.
I mean, they’re fine, and the earlier ones on the right fit in the basic design vocabulary to a degree, but these Toora wheels, whatever they’re called officially, they somehow really capture the design boldness of the Twingo, providing something that feels unexpected and not too serious, but also bold and confident.
The color-matching semicircle is fun, as is the asymmetric one-spoke design. There’s really no other car this wheel would work on other than a first-generation Twingo.
The example Máte found had a slightly different color scheme, with the “cap” of the spoke having the same color as the semicircle. If I had to guess, I suspect that’s because that part is the removable hub cap, and somebody just spray painted the whole thing.
Still, it’s impressive that I think it works like this almost as well as in the way I think it was originally intended.
I really hope you can see what I’m seeing here, and appreciate the subtle joy that comes from just the right pairing of car and wheel. These wheels are daring and only work because the Twingo itself defines its own idiosyncratic design rules so well.
Thank you for your service Toora Twingo wheels.