A high-ranking Renault official has categorically stated that the Clio RS hot hatch “will never be manual again”.
Speaking to GoAuto, Jean Calcat, who holds the position of Renault Sport general manager of sales, said the French brand would not develop a stick-shift gearbox for the current- nor next-generation Clio RS.
“The Clio RS will never be manual again,” Calcat told the Australian publication.
The current Clio RS, of course, is available exclusively with a six-speed dual-clutch transmission.
“If you look at the numbers, we roughly sold the same number of Clio IV RS that we did Clio III RS, except we didn’t sell them in the same markets,” he explained.
“In a manual market like UK, it was not very well received, but in other markets its reception was just great, such as in Japan, where it works very well. So that’s compensation.
“Now, the product is reaching the end of its lifespan, so we will not invest with going with a manual gearbox. The ideal car would have been the Clio 16 Concept, and we really looked at producing it in small quantities like we did with the Clio V6.
“Our managing director Patrice Ratti really wanted to market the car, but at the end of the day, we had to accept the fact from the pure profitability standpoint it didn’t make any sense.
Calcat went on to explain that both dual-clutch and manual transmissions were offered for the Mégane RS range since this larger model held broader appeal.
“Will we ever have a Clio RS with the manual transmission – the answer is no. But we did invest in the Mégane RS manual … and we decided Mégane is a broader product offer worldwide.
Ryan has spent most of his career in online media, writing about everything from sport to politics and other forms of crime. But his true passion – reignited by a 1971 Austin Mini Mk3 still tucked lifeless in a dark corner of his garage – is of the automotive variety.