Renault has revealed its fourth-generation Clio RS at this year's Paris Motor Show.The new car looks set to polarize opinion owing to its engine providing roughly the same amount of power as that of the outgoing model and the decision to go the auto-only route.
Power is provided by a turbocharged 1,6-litre petrol engine that develops 147 kW at 6 000 r/min, while torque climbs from 215 to 234 N.m. A six-speed dual-clutch transmission with paddle shifters takes care of the business of cog swapping and is capable of executing gearshifts in 150 milliseconds when in Race mode.
The new car’s underpinnings can be had in two flavours; the standard Sport chassis, which strikes a balance between agile handling and everyday comfort, and the more performance-focused Cup chassis with its 5 mm lower ride height and 15 per cent additional rigidity.
Although Renault has, rather unusually, not yet provided any performance details for this model, we do know that 320 mm front discs contribute the newcomer’s stopping power.
The styling is typically RenaultSport-aggressive, with a blade spoiler up front, rear diffuser with twin exhaust ports, extended sills and a roof-mounted spoiler. A choice of standard 17- and optional 18-inch alloy wheels are offered.
Among the cabin highlights are sports bucket seats, red accenting and a touch-screen infotainment system with Bluetooth and USB connectivity. Sat-nav, park distance control and climate control will be among the optional extras on offer.
The Renault Clio RS 200 will arrive in South Africa in late 2013.
CAR deputy editor Mike Fourie sampled the standard Renault Clio 4 at its recent international launch. Read his driving impression here.