Renault's next generation Clio may be en-route to South Africa following its Frankfurt unveiling next month, but the current model is still immensely popular and Renault SA has promised the model will remain available well into 2007.

Renault's next generation Clio may be en-route to South Africa following its Frankfurt unveiling next month, but the current model is still immensely popular and Renault SA has promised the model will remain available well into 2007.

The Clio III should be available in South Africa from June 2006, but Renault SA has undertaken to provide a safe and attractive entry-level car alongside the new model.

The 1,2 and 1,4 Va Va Voom models will still be available, though the exact specification and prices have yet to be decided upon. The local subsidiary has promised that all Clio IIs, which currently have a four-star Euro NCAP safety rating, will be equipped with dual airbags, seatbelt pretensioners - and ABS braking in certain models - in the revised entry-level range.

"Affordability is an ongoing issue for South African motorists, and while it has become easier for many people to buy a car, there are still relatively high barriers to entry," the company commented. "Renault SA will continue to bring to the market a tried and trusted package that performs to a very high standard in a number of important and safety-critical areas."

"While we look forward with great anticipation to Clio III, there is no doubt that Clio II will continue to be a very sound proposition at the top end of the economy market, for those who are simply looking for "more car for their money," concluded Renault SA.

The current of Clio's popularity has shown little sign of fading and more than 4,2-million units have been sold since its international launch in 1998. It was most recently revised towards the end of 2003, but has well maintained its idiosyncratic French character.