The premier of the Renault Clio RS 200 Turbo at the Paris Motor Show was eagerly awaited by fans and those who appreciate the Renault Sport badge.
If you have frequented our website over the last few weeks you will notice a number of articles on the new Renault Clio IV as well some more intriguing articles about the Renault Clio Gordini RS as well as the Renault Megane 265 Trophy.
We are by no means sponsored by Renault or for that fact die hard fans of Renault but we have to confess that we have been rather amused by the Renault Sport offering of late; perhaps a true testament to the hard work Renault has put in rebuilding its brand. We eagerly await having one of these units to drive.
Nonetheless let’s have a gander at the new Renault Clio RS 200 Turbo.
The Renault Clio RS 200 Turbo is powered by a 1.6 litre 147kW and 240Nm turbocharged engine mated to a six-speed Efficient Double Clutch (EDC) System. The use of the EDC transmission which enables gearchanges to be executed in just 150 milliseconds as well as other technological improvement will lead to a claimed 25% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to the outgoing Renault III Clio RS. It seems Renault is very keen to make waves in the small hot hatch segement.
Simply put and quoting Patrice Ratti Managing Director, Renault Sport Technologies, the “New Clio Renaultsport 200 Turbo proclaims loud and clear the values of Renault Sport: beautiful and fast, it has everything that’s needed to make it the benchmark car in the high-performance sports hatchback class – just like its predecessors. The introduction of a very high performance turbocharged engine, with plenty of torque at low revs and coupled to the EDC dual clutch transmission (Efficient Double Clutch) developed by Renault Sport engineers, results in a car that raises the performance driving experience to a new level. The expertise of Renault Sport Technologies is reinforced by long-term programmes in the most demanding types of motorsport, including racing and rallying. It is this experience which makes us so passionate about handling feedback, and you can feel this the moment you drive any of the Renault performance derivatives we have developed. We’re also proud to be producing the Renaultsport in Dieppe, home of Alpine, and delighted to be using the EDC gearbox in a Renaultsport version for the first time.”
Exterior features which distinguish the new Clio RS 200 Turbo from other Renault Clio derivatives include; the unique grille and spoiler, the F1-style front blade on the lower bumper which recalls Renault’s success in Formula One, the rear diffuser and spoiler which generate 80 per cent and 20 per cent extra downforce respectively, wide-set LED daytime running lights, sill extensions and 17-inch wheels, with 18- inch rims available as an option. All these elements combine to make it a genuine attention grabber. A dual-tailpipe exhaust system and a sporty sound signature round off this exclusive package.
The interior also receives a level of attention providing a sporting ambience with red being the dominant colour. A steering wheel flanked by two gearshift paddles (a first for Renault), a dedicated instrument pack and aluminium-capped pedals all spell performance and passion.. The Clio RS 200 Turbo comes fitted with bucket seats, with leather upholstery optional, which provide extra lateral.
Other than the standard offerings the new Clio RS 200 Turbo will be offered with a specific Renault Sport exterior personalisation programme.
The new Renault Clio RS 200 Turbo will be available with either the Sport chassis or the Cup Chassis, with the Cup Chassis heavily biased towards track day enthusiasts. The Cup Chassis will offer 15% mnore stiffness relative to the Sport Chassis and a ride height 5mm lower.
Another innovative feature on the Clio RS 200 Turbo include the R.S Drive button which when pressed modifies the engine and gearbox mapping, ESC settings, steering feeling and throttle pedal response. It works in three modes (‘Normal’, ‘Sport’ and ‘Race’) and gives the new model an attractive, multi-dimensional sporty character.
The only feature we are not too sure about is the R-Sound Effect which simulates the engine noise of one of a range of iconic engines through the car’s speakers, tuning it to the speed and acceleration of the car. It feels a bit too gimmicky, a true enthusiast will we believe want to enjoy the aural experience from the engine with the sound system switched off.