Complete with twin tailpipes to match its nippy 2,0-litre powerplant, the final addition to the Renault’s current Clio range, the Clio Renault Sport, ensures the diminutive hatch leaves the stage with a resounding bang.

Complete with twin tailpipes to match its nippy 2,0-litre powerplant, the final addition to the Renault’s current Clio range, the Clio Renault Sport, ensures the diminutive hatch leaves the stage with a resounding bang.

The tiny hot hatch gets its go from a four-cylinder 16-valve 2,0-litre engine that produces 131,5 kW and 200 N.m at 6 500 and 5 250 r/min respectively. It is able to cover the zero-to-100 km/h dash in just over seven seconds and could reach a maximum speed of 220 km/h. The rev-limiter steps in at 7 250 r/min in the first two gears, and 7 000 in the final three ratios while a shift light on the instrument panel alerts the driver as to the best point to switch gears.

Suspension is comprised of MacPherson struts at the front with a flexible H-form torsion beam rear axle linked to trailing arms. For increased handling, the spring- and damper rates and the anti-roll bar stiffness have been adjusted for this version.

Its track has been increased by 20 mm at the front and 10 mm at the rear, while roadholding and grip is further improved with ESP, ABS and EBD. The 280 mm ventilated discs deal with braking up front while 238 mm discs are fitted at the rear. Drive is transmitted to the front wheels via the five speed manual gearbox, while the car rides on alloys fitted with 205/45 low profile radials.

By appearances, the sporty Clio is set apart by its wider and deeper bumpers housing the integrated fog lamps and air intakes for the bigger brakes. With its rear roof spoiler, the car also comes with twin tailpipes reminiscent of the Clio V6. The front wings, made from a composite material, are wider and with the side sills strikes a sportier pose.

The interior is fitted with seats and door panels fitted in perforated light grey Alcantara with a dark grey dashboard. The steering wheel and gearshift are finished in leather, while the dashboard mouldings, steering wheel inserts and gearknob are finished in satin chrome. Foot pedals are finished in drilled aluminium.

Standard equipment in the Clio Sport is ample and includes climate control, cruise control with speed limiter, sports ration hydraulic power steering, white instrument dials and a trip computer with digital display panel.

Twin front and side airbags, seatbelt pre-tensioners and load limiters are offered while in the rear three-point safety belts are fitted to all three seats with Isofix mountings for a child seat.

The Clio Renault Sport costs R 209 990 with a three-year/100 000 km warranty with 15 000 km service intervals. The price also includes a high performance driving course.