Five-door hatch, turbocharged, dual-clutch gearbox. Sounds more Volkswagen than Renault Sport, but one’s got to move with the times, prioritise efficiency and appeal to a broader audience. Unveiled at Paris, the new Renault Clio RS 200 Turbo has all of the above. Bye-bye high-revving NA engine and stick shift.
The new hot Clio is powered by a 1.6 litre turbocharged engine with 200 hp at 6,000 rpm and 240 Nm (up 25 Nm from Clio III Renaultsport) from just 1,750 to 5,600 rpm. This new 16-valve four-cylinder unit includes goodies like DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) cam followers developed from F1, direct injection and VVT.
This new engine uses two litres less fuel for every 100 km compared to the old 2.0 litre F4R engine. Performance data will be released during media test drives planned for early 2013.
The exhaust note has been the object of particular attention, RS says. Sound is also enhanced synthetically by R-Sound Effect. This application simulates the 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’s a fun and realistic way of choosing the engine noise,” Renault adds.
More trickery comes in the form of a ‘sport’ button named R.S. Drive. Pressing this modifies the engine and gearbox mapping, ESC settings, steering feel and throttle response. There are three modes – Normal, Sport and Race.
While the old Clio RS didn’t have an auto option, this new one doesn’t have a manual option. The engine is available exclusively with the EDC (Efficient Double Clutch) dual clutch, six-speed transmission, described as docile in daily driving and particularly effective in sporty driving.
There are steering column-mounted gear shift paddles and a ‘race’ mode (out of three modes) where gear changes can be made in just 150 milliseconds.
Renault says that this new Clio RS is an “innovative response to the highly sophisticated expectations of the compact sports hatchback customer.” Some enthusiasts might have shed a tear by now already :)
As usual for RS, there are two chassis options – Sport for an optimum balance of sportiness and comfort in everyday motoring and Cup for technical and track day enthusiasts (their words, not ours). Pick the latter and you’ll get 15% more stiffness and a ride height lowered by 5 mm over Sport. In the braking department, the 200 Turbo gets big 320 mm-diameter discs at the front, up by 8 mm.
Looks wise, the hot Clio adds on an F1-style front blade, while its diffuser and spoiler generate 80% and 20% extra downforce respectively. Also exclusive to RS are the unique grille and spoiler, front and rear bumper, wide-set LED DRLs, sill extensions and 17-inch wheels, with 18s as option. Dual pipes round off the package.
If you’re wondering, this new Clio RS is a five-door hatchback with the rear door handles hidden Alfa 147-style. Full details of the standard non-RS fourth-gen Clio here.