More than ever, the small car with big car refinements Following the launch of Modus in 2004, Renault continues the renewal of its B-segment range with Clio III. The new car marks the beginning of a new chapter in the Clio success story which began in 1990 and boasts all the necessary features to build on the success of its predecessors. Bigger and roomier, the new car stands out as a benchmark in the small-car category. Its chassis has been engineered to guarantee a level of driving pleasure worthy of higher segments, while fuel efficiency has been optimized thanks to carefully honed aerodynamics. Clio III’s five-star Euro NCAP rating also reassert Renault’s leadership in the domain of safety as the eighth Renault to achieve the maximum rating. Roomy, dynamic, fuel-efficient and safe… Clio III really does have all the refinements of a big car.
The power of seduction
Clio III’s soft, sensual lines are the unmistakable outward signs of the new car’s dynamism and driving pleasure. The inviting and carefully finished interior takes up to five people in comfort. Variety of choice is also a key consideration: customers can order Clio III in a choice of four different interior trim levels and four equipment levels (according to country).
Class-leading roominess and comfort
Both in three- and five-door format, Clio III features exceptional interior space for a vehicle of its length (3.99m). The segment’s new benchmark has also taken travelling comfort a step further thanks to the brightness of its cabin interior which reinforces a sensation of roominess previously unseen in this category. The driving position and user-friendly controls contribute to driver enjoyment. A long list of other comfort and safety features are also available, some of which – including the hands-free locking and ignition card – are new in this segment.
Dynamic, positive road-holding performance
Based on the Renault-Nissan Alliance-developed B platform, Clio III was made for driving. Its suspension takes its inspiration from that of Mégane II, while the new model’s handling is nicely balanced thanks to its long wheelbase, wide track and low centre of gravity. Its dynamic, positive handling characteristics contribute to ensuring exceptional driving pleasure.
Particular attention has been paid to Clio III’s aerodynamics which have enabled identical or, in certain cases, even lower urban cycle fuel efficiency figures to be obtained for practically identical performance levels as Clio II.
For its launch, Clio III will be available with a wide choice of petrol and Euro 4 compliant diesel engines, all of which (except the 1.2 petrol) have been improved over those of Clio II. The petrol engine range comprises a 1.2-litre 16V (75hp), a 1.4-litre 16V (100hp) and a 1.6-litre 16V (110hp) unit, while the 1.5-litre dCi diesel engine comes in a choice of three power outputs – 70hp, 85hp and 105hp – which represent an increase of 5hp. The list of available transmission options for Clio III is the same as for Modus and the new car features a Renault first in the form of a robotized gearbox commanded by paddles located behind the steering wheel which will be available during the first half of 2006.
Acoustic comfort, a key factor when it comes to driving pleasure and travelling comfort, was engineered into the car at a very early stage and this work place Clio III at the very top end of its segment.
Clio III is the eighth Renault model to achieve a fivestar Euro NCAP rating. It notably scored a maximum four-star rating in child protection. Clio III incorporates all Renault’s expertise in both active and passive safety. The car is neutrally balanced, easy to drive and boasts outstanding braking performance. Delivered as standard with Generation 8 Bosch ABS plus Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Emergency Brake Assis (EBA), the new car is also available with the Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) incorporating ASR traction control, understeer control and MSR engine torque overrun regulation.
Along with Modus, Clio III is the first car in its segment to offer additional cornering headlamps, while double-distance xenon headlamps are also available for enhanced night-time visibility. Designed to function with the occupant restraint equipment championed by Renault’s third-generation System for Restraint and Protection, Clio III’s body shell includes a number of programmed deformation zones. The car comes with up to eight airbags, including two adaptive front airbags complete with load limiter and double pretensioners for the front seats. It also features energy-absorbing front seats and headrests designed to prevent whiplash. Clio III innovates in the field of passive safety too, including the inauguration of a new seating concept for children aged between six and 10 sitting in the central position of the rear bench seat.
Easy to live with, inexpensive to run and environmentally-friendly
Thanks to its range of Euro 4 compliant engines, Clio III is especially considerate of the environment. The urban cycle fuel consumption figures of all engines have been improved, while CO2 emissions have been reduced in the case of both the 1.4 16V and 1.6 16V powerplants.Meanwhile, vehicle servicing has never been simpler.
Servicing intervals are every 30,000km for petrolengined Clio IIIs and every 20,000km for diesel versions. The high quality of its design and build ensure built-in durability and low running costs. Clio III is also environmentally sound: some 95% of its weight is easily recyclable and its eco-design takes into account forthcoming restrictions concerning the use of heavy metals.
Renault continues the renewal of its small-car range
The small-car segment is a strategic sector for Renault. With a total of five million vehicles, the segment accounts for more than a third of the European market. With Clio III, Modus – launched in 2004 – and Twingo, which continues to be highly successful, Renault is targeting a market share of close to 11% in Europe in 2005. The total renewal of Renault’s small-car line-up – which began with Modus – has led to the establishment of a new manufacturing structure that sees each of its production sites (Flins and Bursa, plus Dieppe for the Renault Sport version) given over to a single type of vehicle. The total programme outlay for Clio III was €953 million, of which €630 million represented production-related investment.
Body and Driving
The power of seduction
Clio III is a Renault design success. Its compact lines are robust, yet dynamic, fluid and attractive. Inside the car, the accent has been placed very much on charm, seduction and comfort.
Flowing, dynamic lines
Clio III breathes dynamism and driving pleasure. With its long wheel base, its very short rear overhang and the robust, shoulder-like forms of its rear wings, Clio III sits squarely on the road. Its spirited personality is underlined by the wide air-intake located low in the bumper. The lines of the grille and the bonnet’s central crease-line converge on the Renault diamond logo, while the lines of the upper air-intakes extend across the tapered form of the headlamps to convey an expression of intensity which is even more dynamic when equipped with tinted headlamp glass* as featured on the Look Pack version. The bonnet, windscreen and roof pillars form a clear-cut, flowing curve. The marked waistline is accentuated by the door handles and extends along each side to the rear light cluster. The design of the doors and rear side window of the three-door version ensures a dynamic silhouette, while the short overhangs and wide tracks exude robustness and stability, even at a standstill. The lines along the side of the body meet at the bottom of the rear window to form a “V” which, along with the elliptical rear lights, give structure to Clio III’s rear design.
Four trim levels and four equipment levels for à la carte choice
To better meet customer expectations, Renault initially proposes a range of four trim levels (Authentique, Expression, Dynamique, Privilège*) and four equipment levels (Pack, Confort, Confort Pack Clim and Luxe – depending on country). Topend Initiale* and Renault Sport versions will be available at a later date. The different trim levels can be matched to the different equipment levels and engine options.
The Authentique trim level epitomizes simplicity with a dark charcoal finish for the upper part of the dashboard and a lighter shade for the lower part. Combined with simple geometric motifs for the upholstery, this trim level plays on light and shade without austerity. The separating strip between the glove box and the top of the dashboard discretely echoes the pattern of the upholstery. Outside, the car features body-coloured bumpers and grey protective beading.
The Expression trim level is all about joie de vivre. The use of light beige for the lower part of the dashboard distinguishes it from that of the Authentique trim level, while its stylish upholstery is softer to the touch and picked out with coloured dots. The same material is used for the central facia and separating strip. The exterior of Expression trim level models is the same as that featured on Authentique versions.
The Dynamique trim level is resolutely racy. The entire dashboard is dark charcoal which is set off by the satin-finish chrome separating strip. The climate control display, gear lever base, vent controls and instrument dials are also all framed in satin-finish chrome. From this trim level up, Clio III features a so-called “slush” dashboard which is softer and suppler to the touch. The choice of 3D mesh blue and red mottled fabric for the upholstery reinforces the interior’s dynamic appeal.
Also from the Dynamique trim level up, the exterior features bodycoloured rear-view mirrors as well as body-coloured door pillars.
The Privilège trim level is based on a soothing light/dark theme. The two-tone dashboard is warm and dynamic. Dark charcoal has been chosen for the upper part, while the use of light beige for the lower part conveys a sense of softness and comfort. The upholstery is comfortable and refined, both to the touch and to the eyes. The satin-finish chrome highlight also featured on Dynamique versions are light beige and include the centre console. Satin-finish chrome is also employed for the exterior door handles.
The Initiale version stands out by the use of elegant, prestige materials – essentially leather, chrome and wood (cherry wood and walnut bur inlay) – which are specific to Initiale models. Light hues dominate, while the soft, hide-covered seat and door panels are trimmed in a dark-coloured edging. The exterior is distinguishable by its side protection mouldings, bumper impact strips and special 16” alloy wheels which come as standard equipment. As is the case of the Privilège trim level, new colours are available (Poivre Beige, Golden Bronze) and the exterior door handles are picked out in satin-finish chrome.
A particularly wide range of wheels is available, with three different widths and two diameters:
- 15-inch diameter, 165mm or 185mm wide rims trims (according to trim level) or optional alloy wheels,
- a 16-inch diameter, 195mm wide rim is available either complete with wheel trim or (optional) in a choice of two alloy wheel designs (one of which is exclusive to the Dynamique trim level). The Initiale version comes with an exclusive type of wheel as standard.
Additional cornering lights for improved night-time vision
Inaugurated on Modus, additional cornering headlamps are also available on Clio III (optional on models equipped with halogen headlamps, standard on those equipped with xenon lamps). The system is based on a special bulb located in a specific reflector built into the light unit and turned at an angle of 40° to enhance lighting through corners.
As a function of the steering wheel angle (up to and over 40°) and the vehicle’s speed (up to 60kph), a computer switches on the lights to provide the widest possible field of vision when entering a corner.
Adaptive distance xenon lights
Double distance xenon lights provide a wider and brighter main beam and enhance driving comfort by ensuring a progressive transition from dipped to main beam.
Clio III offers an unrivalled cocktail of driving pleasure, performance and fuel efficiency. The new car’s suspension ensures outstanding road holding and comfort. Clio’s ride performance is worthy of that of an upper-segment car, while its fuel efficiency remains that of a small car thanks to carefully penned aerodynamics. Clio III’s urban cycle fuel consumption figures are improved whatever the engine.
Worthy of a big car
Derived from the same suspension as that of Mégane II, Clio III’s suspension combines precise directional control and a high capacity to filter out both vibrations and noise. It profits fully from the association of the car’s long wheelbase (the longest of its segment) and wide track, two fundamental parameters in the quest for stability and efficient handling performance. The MacPherson-type front suspension and rectangular lower arm optimize road holding and comfort. The high degree of transverse stiffness obtained in this way is not only beneficial to road holding but also favours comfort by enhancing the car’s ability to absorb longitudinal forces. The front suspension is connected to an isolated subframe which equally contributes to comfort by combating the transmission of vibrations and noise.
The rear suspension is also already used on Mégane II and features a programmed deflection torsion beam combined with coil springs. For optimal control of body roll, the flexible beam works in conjunction with an antiroll bar. The combination of efficient shock absorbing and long suspension travel guarantees precision control and comfortable handling.
The choice of elasto-kinematic materials for both the front and rear suspensions helps absorb imperfections in the road surface and also plays an important role in the smooth, efficient performance of the chassis. Clio III comes as standard with advanced variable power-assisted steering (with 16 power-assistance parameters) which is calibrated to favour smooth, precise steering. The turning circle between kerbs is a low 10.30m.
Although it shares the same suspension as Modus, the road holding characteristics of Clio III are especially dynamic. Engineers have also modified the shock absorbing parameters and power steering settings. Two wheel diameters (15-inches and 16-inches) are available for Clio III as well as a range of three widths: 165mm or 185mm (15-inch rims), and 195mm (16-inch rims). Extensive research has gone into tyre stiffness with a view to optimizing Clio III’s safe, efficient handling and actively contributing to shorter braking distances. Meanwhile, work into diminishing tyre rolling resistance has helped cut fuel consumption.
Where are the extra kilograms to be found?
The trend towards higher weights for new models stems from advances in the domains of passive and active safety, the quality of the materials employed, acoustic performance and dimensions. Achieving a five-star Euro NCAP rating leads automatically to a re-dimensioning of the car’s body shell (under body and superstructure). With an average gain of 133kg in comparison with Clio II, the increase in the weight of Clio III is line with average increases for new models in terms of the mass/volume ratio, while fuel efficiency is unchanged.
Difference in weight between Clio III and Clio II by area
|Material quality/reliability ||+32kg|
Class-leading roominess and comfort
Clio III is an innovator of new B-segment standards. In addition to its big car refinements and despite its compact overall dimensions, the new car features interior volumes and a level of comfort worthy of higher-segment hatchbacks. Driver and passenger travelling comfort was a central priority for Renault and Clio III boasts a comprehensive list of equipment and features, some of which – such as the Renault hands-free card – are totally new in its segment.
A warm, inviting interior
The design and engineering teams have built on Clio II to provide Clio III with an even more attractive, inviting and comfortable interior. Taking its inspiration from the Touch Design concept, the new car exudes a sense of warmth and refinement rarely seen in the B segment. The contours of the dashboard and centre console are soft and fluid, unlike the wall-like designs all too often seen today. The Touch Design concept is also behind the design of the door panels and vent controls. For ease of use, the squash balllike form of the latter is malleable to the touch.
The dashboard cowling houses clear, easy-to-read instruments. The uncluttered centre console includes the vent/climate-control and radio controls, the hazard warning light and central locking switches, as well as the “start-stop” switch on versions equipped with the Renault hands-free card. The remotely positioned radio display forms an integral part of the dashboard design.
The impression of space and comfort is emphasized by the generously dimensioned panoramic electric sunroof (length: 1.29m, width: 0.86m) which is made up of two flush-fitting panels (a mobile forward panel and a fixed rear panel). The sunroof is opened by a one-touch rotary electrical switch and includes an anti-pinch function as standard.
Clio III redefines B-segment standards
With a length of 3,986mm, an overall width of 1,707mm, a wheelbase of 2,575mm and a height of 1,493mm (58mm higher than Clio II), Clio III features outstanding cabin space and stands out as the new benchmark in the B segment, a distinction which has not resulted in reduced manoeuvrability since the new car’s turning circle between kerbs remains a low 10.30m.
Big car refinements
Clio III offers a sensation of roominess which is rare for its category. This impression is accentuated by the bright interior and the new car’s excellent all-round visibility which marks a 10% improvement over Clio II. The driver benefits from the same field of vision as behind the wheel of Modus, while panoramic and rear visibility is equally impressive and also up compared with Clio II.
Clio’s total glazed surface of 2.459sq.m places it directly at the B segment’s top end. For optimal thermal comfort, Clio III – which boasts a total cabin volume of 2.9 cubic metres – can be equipped with the air-conditioning unit designed for the B platform already seen on Modus. Its compact size has freed up additional space for the glove box. Clio III features the same pleasant, easy-to-use vent and climate control controls as Mégane II.
Clio III’s interior is warmly welcoming. Its spacious cabin puts it on a par with models from the next segment up and marks a clear step forward compared with Clio II. Its index of overall cabin space is the highest for a B-segment hatchback and is comparable with models from the next segment up. With a shoulder width of 1,380mm at the front (up 28mm compared with Clio II) and 1,343mm (five-door version) or 1,362mm (three-door version at the rear, Clio III stands out as the best in its segment. This impression of space is further emphasized by the car’s surprisingly generous headroom given its compact exterior. The combination of ample head and kneeroom means that Clio III can comfortably accommodate passengers more than 1.88m tall which corresponds to the 95th percentile of the European population.
Access to the rear seats of the five-door version is particularly easy thanks to large door apertures which represent an increase of 45mm compared with Clio II and which are the largest in its segment. The interior layout optimizes clearance for rear footroom. In the case of the three-door version, access to the rear from either the left- or the right-hand sides is gained by tilting the front seat which benefits from the same position memory facility as that seen on Mégane II.
An easy car to live with, Clio III offers a generous 288 litres (VDA) of boot space with the rear bench seat in the normal position and loaded up to the parcel shelf. This figure climbs to 694 litres (VDA) with the bench seat folded and the boot loaded to the top edge of the front seats, and to 1,038 litres (VDA) with the bench seat folded down and the car loaded to the roof. Clio III also features a 9.4-litre capacity glove box (refrigerated in the case of models equipped with climate control*), front door storage bins of a capacity of 2.4 litres (capable of holding a 1.5-litre bottle), 1-litre capacity rear door pocket plus drawers beneath the driver and front passenger seats (either optional or standard on certain versions).
Travelling comfort a priority
Clio III places the accent on the comfort of its occupants. The driving position is amongst the best in its category. Located in the axis of the driver, the steering wheel is height-adjustable (and also reachadjustable on models equipped with the Renault hands-free card), whilst the seats offer an excellent combination of support and softness. The work undertaken to select the ideal density for the mousse used for the seat cushions has resulted in first-class support in all driving situations. The front seat adjustment controls fall to hand and allow the seat height to be adjusted to obtain the optimal driving position.
Rear passengers also benefit from Clio III’s built-in comfort thanks to the special work that has gone into specifying the form and density of the mousse employed for the rear bench seat which offers outstanding lateral support. The rear seat is available in two versions: a single unit (Authentique, Expression and Dynamique trim levels) or a 60/40 split bench (standard with the Confort version and other trim levels).
The central sitting position of the latter is especiallydesigned for children without necessitating additional equipment. The shorter, raised cushion is specially adapted to the needs of children aged between six and 10. This seating position also features a headrest (optional, country-dependent) designed specifically for a child. It takes the form of an ergonomically-designed cocoon that supports the neck and the nape. In case of drowsiness, the system reduces neck fatigue while also holding the child in the correct position in relation to his or her seat belt.
For enhanced user-friendliness, the steering wheelmounted controls are short and based on those of Mégane II, as is the centre console which is available in two versions according to range level. Placed in direct line of sight of the driver, it is easy to read. The display zones are clearly defined and different sized characters are used to distinguish different types of information. On the Authentique and Expression trim levels, the fuel level and engine temperature are displayed as bar-graphs located close to each other on the onboard computer display.
On the Dynamique, Privilège and Initiale trim levels, the onboard computer can display up to 70 messages. Access to this information is facilitated by a feature inaugurated on Mégane II and which enables data to be scrolled in two directions. At these three levels of trim, the fuel level and water temperature are respectively displayed in the form of an analogue
gauge and a thermometer.
Equipment designed to ease day-to-day life
Like Modus, Clio III can be ordered with the Carminat Guidance navigation system. This system comes with a matrix display located centrally in the upper part of the dashboard. Destinations are keyed in using the facia-mounted rotary selection knob.
Junctions are displayed with arrows indicating the direction to be taken along with speech synthesis messages. In addition to displaying the car’s precise location in real time, the system also estimates arrival time at destination and indicates the distance remaining to be travelled. The Carminat system includes the radio and CD player functions. A radio with MP3 playback will also be available as an option.
Either standard according to equipment level or available as an option, Clio III is available with:
- parking assist with reversing radar,
- a twin function sensor: a rain sensor that controls the windscreen wipers and wiper speed, and a light sensor that
- automatically switches on the dipped beam headlamps,
- cruise control and speed limiter, which permit the driver to maintain the car at a constant speed or to pre-set the car’s top speed. The former facility is used principally on trunk roads and motorways while the latter is especially suited to driving in built-up areas or in heavy traffic.
The Renault hands-free card
Clio III is the first B-segment car to benefit from the Renault hands-free card. This technology is available on all variants, with the exception of the 1.2 16V- and 1.5 dCi 70hp-engined and Pack versions.
With the hands-free card, vehicle-mounted sensors automatically detect the presence of the user as soon as he or she comes within 1.2m of the doors.
To unlock the car, the driver only has to touch one of the door handles thanks to optical sensors located behind each one.To start the engine, it is not necessary to insert the card into the reader: the presence of the card inside the car is sufficient thanks to starter antennae positioned in the cabin and boot. Starting has been made safe by making it necessary to press on either the brake or clutch pedal while activating the “start” button. This prevents a child, for example, from starting the car. As is the case with Mégane II, the exterior locking of doors is not automatic on Clio III and requires a push on one of the buttons incorporated into each door handle, as well as into the centre of the logo on the rear hatch.
Special attention paid to acoustics
Clio III is the segment leader for acoustics. Special care was taken when engineering the body shell with a view to filtering out engine- or transmission-generated noise as well as noise fed back via the suspension.
The tapping sound inherent in diesel engine injection systems has been largely contained thanks to the use of multi-injection technology, while the twin-mass damping flywheel contributes efficiently to reducing engine rumble and boom at low revs which have been further reduced thanks to a rear hatch spring bump stop. The 6-speed gearbox of the 1.5 dCi 105hp and the future 2.0 16V versions enables engine speeds to be brought down in certain situations (e.g. motorway driving) with a view to enhancing acoustic comfort. Special attention has also been paid to engine/cabin soundproofing and to curbing wind noise thanks to the use of inflatable inserts in the hollow sections of the body shell, as well as other techniques.
Optimized performance and fuel efficiency
Modern fuel-efficient powertrains
The comprehensive list of available engines and transmissions has been tailored to bring out the best in the Clio III’s dynamic qualities. The petrol engine range at the time of the launch comprises three Euro 4 compliant 16-valve units: 1.2 16V 75hp (55kW), 1.4 16V 100hp (72kW) and 1.6 16V 110hp (82kW). An Alliance-developed 2.0 16V unit will be available during the first quarter of 2006 and all these engines are equipped with a drive-by-wire throttle system which, in association with a motorized throttle valve, ensures precise control of air flow to the engine. They all comply with Euro 4 emission requirements and incorporate an Onboard Diagnostic system to ensure the durable effectiveness of emission control-related equipment with time.
The diesel range is made up of three Euro 4 compliant 1.5 dCi engines which respectively deliver 70hp(50kW), 85hp (63kW) and 105hp (78kW). Engineers have paid special attention to Clio III’s aerodynamics and the new car boasts a Cd of 0.342 compared with 0.35 for Clio II. Despite an average weight gain of 133kg in comparison with Clio II (resulting principally from passive safety developments: +65kg), Clio III comes with an improved range of engines which offer practically the same level of performance but which feature equivalent or better urban cycle fuel consumption statistics to its predecessor.
The combined cycle fuel consumption of the 1.4 16V and 1.6 16V engines are improved by an average of 3%, which has in turn led to a reduction in CO2 emissions. To obtain these results without impinging on interior space, the campaign to hunt down those all-important thousandths of Cd was carried out in close collaboration between the designers, architects and aerodynamics specialists. To reduce drag, the engineers have optimized the shape of the front bumper, while work has also gone into the exterior mirrors, the shape of the wheel trims and the windscreen pillars, as well as on the flush-fitting fixed windows.
The design of the rear window and rear light clusters has produced a reduction in turbulence and a corresponding gain in terms of performance and fuel efficiency. Similar care has gone into the engineering of the underneath of the car, including the use of deflectors ahead of the front and rear wheels, fairings under the engine and under the spare wheel and a flexible lip situated at the bottom of the front bumper.
1.2 16V 75hp (55kW)
With a cubic capacity of 1149cc, the new-generation 1.2 16V (D4F) engine has a power output of 75hp (55kW) (80hp/57kW when coupled with the robotized gearbox*) at 5,500rpm and maximum torque of 105Nm (11mkg) (108Nm/11mkg with the robotized gearbox) at 4,250rpm. This engine is more responsive across the most frequently used range of engine speeds and offers lower fuel consumption, notably in urban use, thanks to closer gear ratios. Developments have focused on the engine’s top-end
with a view to favouring combustion chamber fill-up efficiency, notably at low revs. The size of the builtin air filter has increased to 6 litres from 5.5 litres, while the dimensions of the motorized throttle valve have been revised, as has the calibration of the overhead camshaft (associated with roller cam followers) for less valve lift. All these developments have
enabled idling speed to be cut to 650rpm from 750rpm which has led to a fuel consumption gain of between 2 and 3% (urban cycle). The 1.2 16V engine is the first Renault block to run at such a low idling speed. The torque curve has also evolved, with a gain of between 3 and 4Nm (0.4mkg) at low revs (around 1,500rpm). This engine gives Clio III responsive pick-up from low engine speeds and fuel consumption of just 5.9 litres/100km (combined
cycle), equivalent to 139g of CO2/km. Finally, i order to meet Euro 4 emission requirements, this engine comes with a new, two-volume catalytic converter (0.4 + 1 litre). A Euro 4-compliant 65hp version is also available in certain countries.
1.4 16V 100hp (72kW)
At its launch, the 1.4 16V (K4J) engine immediately won over motorists thanks to its responsiveness and outstanding fuel efficiency. To optimize driving pleasure, the power output of this 1390cc unit is 100hp (72kW) at 5,750rpm. Maximum torque is 127Nm (13mkg) at 4,250rpm, 90% of which is available between 2,000 and 6,000rpm. Weight savings have been achieved thanks to a careful choice of materials (plastic air intake, magnesium accessory bracket, thin-walled sump).
Designed for motorists looking for a combination of fuel efficiency and performance, Clio III 1.4 16V boasts fuel consumption of just 6.6 litres/100km (combined cycle), equivalent to 158g of CO2/km. Meanwhile, the use of a large mating surface for the engine/gearbox interface also reduces noise at high engine revs by minimizing boom. To comply with Euro 4 emission requirements, the engine benefits from new injection parameters and a higher impregnation content of precious metal for the catalytic converter.
1.6 16V 110hp (82kW)
Previously seen on Mégane II, the 1.6 16V (K4M) engine develops 110hp (82kW) at 6,000rpm with maximum torque of 151Nm (15.7mkg) at 4,250rpm. This 1598cc unit is equipped with variable inlet valve timing which operates through a range of 45° of crankshaft angle. For optimized fuel efficiency, this system ensures enhanced driving pleasure and flexibility with no corresponding increase in power. The constant variation ensures improved performance, fuel consumption and driving pleasure at all engine speeds. Variable inlet valve timing also ensures a consistent idling speed which is particularly appreciable in city motoring.
With 90% of maximum torque available between 2,000 and 5,750rpm, this engine is responsive and pleasant to drive, as well as linear, with no flat spots either at low or mid engine speeds. As with Modus, it features a new, higher ceramic content catalytic converter in order to comply with Euro 4 emission requirements. Equipped with this engine, Clio III’s fuel consumption is just 6.6 litres/100km (158g of CO2/km). As with the 1.4 16V unit, the engine/gearbox coupling has a large mating face for enhanced acoustic performance. A Euro 4 compliant 88hp version is also available in certain markets.
1.5 dCi 70hp (50kW), 85hp (63kW), 105hp (78kW)
The three versions of the 1.5 dCi (K9K) engine available from launch are derived from the engines that already power the Clio II and Mégane II range. Widely acclaimed for their fuel efficiency and low noise, the 1461cc engines have further evolved, with a second-generation fuel injection system. Available in three power levels, they deliver 70hp (50kW) at 4,000rpm, 85hp (63kW) at 3,750rpm and 105hp (78kW) at 4,000rpm. On the latter two engines, Clio III features a flexible flywheel which filters out the effects of acyclic movements.
Maximum torque is 160Nm (16.3mkg) in the case of the 70hp version, 200Nm (20.4mkg) for the 85hp version and 240Nm (24.5mkg) in 105hp trim, making the 1.5 dCi engine particularly responsive from very low engine speeds and remarkably fuel efficient. The combined cycle fuel consumption of Clio III 1.5 dCi 70hp, 85hp and 105hp is respectively 4.6 litres/100km (equivalent to 123g of CO2/km), 4.4 litres/100km (117g of CO2/km) and 4.6 litres/100km (123g of CO2/km).
To meet Euro 4 emission requirements, the 70hp and 85hp versions are equipped with a 1,600 bar injection system, while the 70hp unit also features a turbo air cooler. These evolutions have produced an average gain of 5hp compared with the formergeneration units. The 105hp version was especially developed in view of Euro 4 legislation and engineers have introduced significant evolutions to the basic engine, notably a lower compression ratio (16:1), by using a new 1,600 bar injection system featuring piezo-electric injectors and multi-vane variable nozzle turbocharger.
Three types of transmission to cover all types of use
In order to exploit the full potential of Clio III’s range of engines, three types of transmission are available: 5- and 6-speed manual transmission, a robotized gearbox and automatic transmission. The 5-speed manual gearbox (JHQ or JHR series) is identical to that used on Modus is available with all engines except the 105hp 1.5 dCi version and the future 2.0 16V version, which come with a 6-speed manual gearbox (TL4). The robotized gearbox (JA3 and JA5), which is equipped with steering wheel-mounted gearshift paddles, can be ordered for the 1.2 16V and 1.5 dCi 85hp models from the first half of 2006.
Auto-adaptive 4-speed transmission (DP0) is available for the 1.6 16V and 2.0 16V versions of the car.
The 6-speed (TL4) manual gearbox is the first Alliance-designed gearbox. After Modus, Clio III is the second B-segment car to feature 6-speed manual transmission for diesel versions. Torque capacity is 240Nm (24.5mkg) while the 6th gear – the ratio of which is longer than the normal 5-speed box’s 5th gear – improves acoustic performance and achieves lower fuel consumption at stabilized high speeds.
Meanwhile, the closer ratios of the other gears favour acceleration response. The robotized gearbox is based on a manual gearbox equipped with an electro-hydraulic activator which permits two driving modes: automatic mode (gears are changed without driver involvement) or one-touch manual mode. Its use is facilitated by steering wheel-mounted gearshift paddles, a system associated with upper-range or sports models. For optimal user-friendliness, the concept features fixed paddles located either side of the upper part of the steering column.
The left paddle is employed to shift down and the right paddle to move up the gears. The positioning of these paddles does not detract from the driver’s view of the dashboard and also ensures that they are instinctively found at full or nearly full lock. In this way, along with the other controls located on the upper part of the steering column (radio controls, stalks), the paddles enable drivers to keep both hands on the wheel in all situations. To keep the driver informed, the selected gear is displayed on the dashboard.
In addition to automating gear changes and to a low additional cost for the buyer, the benefit of the robotized gearbox is a fuel consumption saving of approximately 10%. Gears are changed using the gear selector or by activating the paddles located behind the steering wheel.
Finally, automatic transmission is available with the 1.6 16V 110hp engine and, in the coming months, the 2.0 16V version will be available with the Proactive 4-speed sequential gearbox which enables the driver to decide when gears change by the flick of a lever after switching from “drive” to “manual” mode. To take possible strain off the mechanicals when this mode is engaged, any attempt to select too high or too low a gear at an unsuitable engine speed is not taken into account. When decelerating, the most appropriate gear is automatically engaged – whatever the chosen mode – to eliminate the possibility of under- or over-revving.
In addition to scoring the maximum five-star Euro NCAP rating, Clio III has obtained the maximum score of four stars in child protection. Equipped with Renault’s third-generation System for Restraint and Protection, Clio III benefits from Renault’s extensive expertise in the field of safety to ensure optimal protection for all occupants.
Active safety central to Clio III’s development
Along with design and interior space, active safety figured amongst Renault’s three priorities for Clio III.
The new car’s neutral handling makes it easy to drive, while its chassis and suspension minimize the effect on driving lines of poor road surfaces, side winds and braking and acceleration forces. Body roll has been mastered. The use of 20.5mm-diameter antiroll bars and new shock absorber valving contributes to Clio III’s outstanding stability which in turn benefits from dynamic, reassuring handling.
Equipped as standard with either four disc brakes (1.6 16V, 2.0 16V and 1.5 dCi 105hp powered models as well as with the ESP-equipped versions) or with a combination of front discs and rear drum brakes (all other versions), Clio III boasts powerful, easy-to-gauge stopping power. The big diameter discs (260mm front, 240mm rear) are also broad in section (22mm front, 8mm rear). Braking power and resistance to heat build-up guarantee class-leading stopping distances.
Clio III comes with the very latest developments in driver aids. In keeping with features more commonly associated with higher segments, Clio III is equipped as standard with the latest Generation 8 Bosch ABS complete with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Emergency Brake Assist (EBA).
In case of very heavy braking, the hazard warning lights are automatically activated. Clio III is also equipped with ESP with understeer control which corrects the driving line by reducing engine Clio III has obtained a five-star Euro NCAP rating torque and by acting on the brake system to reduce speed. The understeer control system acts either on the two wheels of the same side or on all four wheels according to the amount of understeer to be corrected.
The ESP is complemented by a traction control function (ASR) to assist starting and accelerating when grip is at a premium. Thanks to a dashboardmounted switch, this function can be disconnected under 50kph in order to facilitate starting on soft or
uneven ground. The system automatically switches back on every time the engine is re-started or when the car’s speed exceeds 50kph. Meanwhile, the engine torque overrun sensor (MSR) prevents the driven wheels from locking when the foot lifts from the accelerator or when decelerating on slippery surfaces.
Clio III is also equipped with a tyre pressure monitoring system. This system detects slow punctures or a possible incompatibility between the vehicle’s speed and its tyre pressures.
Passive safety: uncompromising protection for all occupants
Clio III is Renault’s eighth model to achieve a fivestar Euro NCAP rating, which makes Renault the leader in terms of passive safety. Clio III takes up the baton of Clio II which, from 1998, emerged as the B-segment benchmark in this domain.
Clio III comes with Renault’s third-generation System for Restraint and Protection which guarantees optimal protection for occupants wherever they are sitting.
The car’s body shell is in the front line when it comes to ensuring the protection of its occupants.
Clio III’s body shell employs new steels and materials that ensure improved absorption and dissipation of kinetic energy. The front, side and rear of the body are all designed with built-in programmed deformation which reduces the overall impact to which the car’s occupants are exposed. The very rigid cabin forms a non-deformable survival cell to combat against the intrusion of front-end components which are designed to stack up under impact.
Clio III’s restraint system.
Both Clio III’s front seat belts are equipped with double pyrotechnic pretensioners for optimized body restraint under impact. The belts come with built-in load limiters calibrated at 400daN for enhanced thorax protection. On five-door versions, protection of the pelvic region and combating the phenomenon of anti-submarining are ensured by the use of another
pretensioner which acts on the force applied to the lap strap to hold the occupant in his or her seat. On three-door versions, this role is played by the antisubmarining airbag located in the front seat cushions, a solution already seen on Mégane II Sport Hatch and Coupé-Cabriolet.
Furthermore, certain versions of Clio III are equipped with either six or eight airbags as standard: two controlled-deflation adaptive front airbags, four lateral airbags and two anti-submarining airbags (three-door versions).
Other front impact occupant protection features include a deformable magnesium steering wheel frame and a collapsible steering column which effectively increases the distance between the driver and the steering wheel. The combination of padding and a thin metal sheet built into the cowling underneath the steering wheel reduces the risk of leg injuries. A brake pedal retracting system also reduces the risk of lesions to the driver’s ankles.
All three rear seats are equipped with antisubmarining structures built into the steel plate located under the cushion. The two side rear seats are fitted with pyrotechnic reels and built-in load limiters. Finally, the system includes rigid, verticallypositioned seat belt buckles. Clio III also comes with a luggage retention bar which is screwed into the floor at the base of the rear bench seat back. It holds back baggage in the case of impact without taking up boot space.
In addition to lateral airbags (thorax airbags built into the front seats, curtain airbags to protect the heads of front and rear passengers), Clio III comes with spacers and padding in the door panel, as well as an aluminium bar (a first inaugurated on Clio III) that adapts the load exerted upon impact in order to afford optimal protection for occupants.
Four-star child protection
Renault has equipped Clio III with four Isofix anchorage points built into the rear side seats and front passenger seat, a feature that has enabled it to obtain the maximum four-star score in the Euro NCAP child protection tests. Clio III also inaugurates a new concept aimed at children of between six and 10 years of age sitting in the central position of the rear bench seat. To enable the child to sit in the correct position, the seat cushion is shorter, while the seat belt buckles have been brought forward and positioned lower to ensure that the belt is perfectly positioned across the child’s lap to combat submarining. The additional belt guide is located at the top of the seat back so that the child’s neck is not hampered by the belt. The belt guide forms part of an optional pack along with the convertible child head restraint.
For the front seats, Clio III innovates with rear impact energy-absorbing seats and headrests. This new technology represents a significant breakthrough in terms of protecting the neck against the effects of whiplash. When adjusting its height, it’s the headrest itself which slides and no longer the rods which were built into the seat back. Sin ce the latter no longer represents a rigid element inside the seat back, the occupant’s back can, under impact, push further back into the seat until his or her head comes into contact with the headrest. The rear bench seat comes with three integrated headrests, while the seat itself and its anchorage points are reinforced with a view to limiting reclining of the seat back under impact.