The challenge faced by Renault Sport Technologies’ engineers when first penning New Clio Renault Sport was to respect the individual personality of Clio III, while at the same time highlighting the newcomer’s inherent qualities and dynamism. The result is an exceptional car which puts the accent firmly on performance, passion and driving pleasure.
New Clio Renault Sport stands out as a worthy successor to Clio Renault Sport 2.0 16V and benefits directly from Renault’s presence in Formula 1 in the form of a rear air diffuser, a ground-breaking first in this segment and directly derived from motor racing’s premier championship. In association with the front wing extractor vents, this feature guarantees outstanding aerodynamic performance.
Sportier than ever, New Clio Renault Sport is powered by an evolution of the normally-aspirated 2.0 16V engine, whose power has been increased to 197hp. This is equivalent to 100hp/litre, making it the highest specific power output of its category. This has been achieved thanks notably to an increase in its volumetric efficiency which has not only resulted in extra power but has also taken torque to a best-in-class 215Nm at 5,550rpm for genuine driving pleasure in day-to-day use.
Coupled with a closer ratio six-speed gearbox featuring shorter gears, this powerful, responsive engine offers first-class sports performance and driving pleasure. Another key feature is the double-axis strut system which provides rigorously precise handling and perfect balance. Derived from Mégane Renault Sport, New Clio Renault Sport’s brakes and Brembo callipers ensure powerful, durable stopping power.
Designed for performance
Clio III’s distinctive, original lines have been further enhanced by the use of more athletic curves, while New Clio Renault Sport’s specific side design exudes extra power and energy. The wider front and rear wings, profiled side skirts and semi-rigid under-bumper splitter combine with the extractor vents and diffuser to assert the new car’s advanced aerodynamic engineering and sports heritage.
New Clio Renault Sport comes with large tyres (215/45) and 17-inch light alloy wheels which barely conceal the Brembo brake callipers and big discs that ensure powerful and durable stopping performance. The powerful, normally-aspirated 2.0 16V engine has necessitated a wide, bumper-mounted air intakes for improved engine cooling.
The front and rear bumpers, side protective mouldings and exterior mirrors are all body-coloured, while the door handles are in satin-finish chrome. New Clio Renault Sport will be available in five exclusive colours: two non-metallic colours (Toro Red and Dynamo Blue), plus three metallic colours (Monako Blue, Deep Black and Makaha Grey).
The sporty character of New Clio Renault Sport is unmistakably echoed by its design, both inside and out. The revised body design accentuates Clio III’s inherent racy, muscular lines.
New Clio Renault Sport’s interior trim echoes the car’s exterior styling. The drive station has been designed for driving pleasure, and the “drive it” spirit is immediately apparent in details like the aluminium pedals, footrest* and perforated-leather steering wheel with red centre-point stitching. For added comfort and efficiency, the design of the steering wheel itself ensures perfect grip for the hands.
Designed and positioned for optimal clarity, the instruments feature white data on a black background. The rev counter incorporates a gear-change indicator light, while the size of the figures increases as the needle gets closer to the red zone which begins at 7,500rpm.
The overriding dark charcoal colour scheme is offset by the chrome-zinc centre console and dashboard inserts which echo technology and sports performance. Specially designed Renault Sport seats ensure outstanding comfort and effective lateral support which enable the driver to feel totally at one with his or her machine, while the metallic grey seatbelts are in perfect harmony with the new dark charcoal and metallic black “Entresol” upholstery.
As with all Renault Sport Technologies-developed models, the exclusive “Renault Sport” logo appears on the instrument backgrounds, on the door sill and on the front seats. “Renault Sport” badging is also visible on the outside; on the hatch and on the satinfinish chrome side moulding inserts.
Air diffuser: racing technology
Both visually and technologically, New Clio Renault Sport’s most striking technological innovation lies in the design of the rear bumper which incorporates an air diffuser. Derived from Formula 1, this feature has only ever previously been seen on range-topping, high-priced sports cars.
The diffuser’s purpose is to prevent rear-end lift and maintain stability at high speed by channelling air flow in such a way to increase the suction effect. The radius of the diffuser’s curve is engineered to create a zone of low pressure beneath the car. The downforce generated by the diffuser means there is no need for a rear spoiler to counter the phenomenon of lift. For optimal stability, the system reduces lift by a factor of three and produces the equivalent of 40kg of rear downforce on motorways and up to 70kg on circuit without detracting from the car’s carefully honed aerodynamics designed to achieve a low CdA.
To maximize the diffuser’s effectiveness, the flushfitted dual exhausts are housed within the outer channels. Positioned in this way, they do not interfere with the efficiency of the aerodynamics.
Extractor vents foroptimized performance
The front wing extractor vents also have an aerodynamic function by reducing turbulence to optimize the car’s drag coefficient. The extractor vents facilitate both the flow and hot air from under the bonnet. At the same time, the vents direct air flow along the sides of the car to further enhance performance.
New Clio Renault Sport also comes with a specific bumper and grille, as well as a semi-rigid aerodynamic splitter which restricts the amount of air that passes underneath the car.
A chassis engineered for high performance
For enhanced stability, the wheelbase of New Clio Renault Sport has been extended by 10mm compared with Clio III to 2,585mm thanks to the introduction of a double-axis strut system. Grip and cornering performance have been optimized thanks to the new car’s wider front and rear track, which have been extended by 48 and 50mm respectively in comparison with Clio III.
Innovative front suspension, strengthened rear suspension
New Clio Renault Sport comes with a new-design double-axis strut system featuring aluminium parts with a view to optimizing its weight. This technology guarantees precision and optimal traction in all situations. Driving pleasure is further enhanced by the car’s incisive front end which is insensitive to torque-steer, whether in the middle of a tight turn or in a straight line. Derived from Clio III, the programmed deflection, torsion beam rear suspension has been strengthened to match the potential of the double-axis strut system and to ensure precise, immediate response when turning into corners. The stiffness of the sports version’s rear suspension has been uprated by 25% thanks to a 30mm (an increase of 10mm) anti-roll bar. The new concept, single-piece stub axles feature reinforced bearings and have been lengthened in order to widen the rear track. Their diameter has also been increased by 5mm to 30mm (instead of 25mm in the case of Clio III).
New Clio Renault Sport’s exacting, balanced sports handling combines driving pleasure at speed with advanced safety. The dimensions of its chassis have been modified compared with those of Clio III, including a longer wheelbase and wider front and rear tracks. New Renault Clio Sport also comes with a double-axis strut system which features aluminium components for even greater precision.
A nimble, responsive chassis for even greater driving pleasure The suspension of New Clio Renault Sport ensures a first-class compromise between efficiency and filtering performance. Front and rear shock absorbers feature specific valving developed to optimize body control. Meanwhile, the stiffness of the front and rear springs and the use of polyurethane bump stops favour positive car control on very rough roads. The subframe is the same as that used for Mégane Renault Sport and includes transverse strengthening for improved front-end rigidity. The front subframe bushes and rear suspension mountings are also stiffer, as are the upper front shock absorber mountings. All these features combine to favour feedback to the driver as well as a heightened sense of precision at the wheel. The calibration parameters of the electric power steering is specific to New Clio Renault Sport, while the model’s Continental Sport Contact 3 tyres (215/45 R17) also contribute to the suspension’s excellent directional stability.
Uprated braking Derived from that of Mégane Renault Sport, New Clio Renault Sport’s braking system ensures effective, durable stopping power, plus progressive, easy-to-dose pedal travel. The system comprises 312mm-diameter cross-drilled front discs with Brembo four-pot callipers and 300mm diameter discs at the rear.
A sporty normally-aspirated engine New Clio Renault Sport is powered by the F4R RS normally-aspirated 2.0 16V engine which delivers 197hp at 7,250rpm and maximum torque of 158 lbs-ft at 5,550rpm. Based on the engine which forged the reputation of Clio II Renault Sport 182 2.0 16V, it boasts a specific power output of 100hp per litre which ensures exceptional performance for New Clio Renault Sport in the hot hatch segment. The normally-aspirated engine combines performance, dynamism, flexibility, immediate response and excellent re-acceleration from all engine speeds. It is also easier to adapt for competition use in derivatives such as the Clio Group N and Clio Cup one-make race versions.
At low revs and at engine speeds below 5,000rpm, New Clio Renault Sport ensures a level of response and driving pleasure adapted to day-to-day motoring. At higher revs (more than 5,000rpm), the performance and “bark” of New Clio Renault Sport’s engine are unleashed to reveal the car’s true sports heritage. The uprated power and torque figures stem from a number of modifications and optimizations to the powertrain:
- as in Formula 1, the inlet acoustics have evolved to take volumetric efficiency to more than 100% thanks to the optimization of the sections and lengths of the intake tracts.
- to permit the intake of additional air and to facilitate the flow of gases, extensive work has also gone into the valve seat aerodynamics. The calibration of the camshaft has also been modified with a view to producing a longer and bigger aperture of the valves (11.5mm of valve lift instead of an average 9mm).
- the design of the combustion chamber and the piston has resulted in a high compression ratio of 11.5:1 for enhanced combustion and performance, plus lower emissions.
- continuously variable valve timing improves performance at all engine speeds by varying the
- camshaft angle to optimize the opening and closing of the valves.
Driving pleasure and acoustic comfort
Renault Sport Technologies’ engineers have sought to achieve a signature engine sound in keeping with New Clio Renault Sport’s sports pedigree. From a discreet pitch at low revs, the engine begins to give a glimpse of its promise at mid engine speeds before producing a hallmark bark when pushed to the limit. Meanwhile, the reinforced subframe and specific floor minimize boom thanks to special surface soundproofing treatment that reduces the radiation of noise from the exhaust. The 3Y-type exhaust manifold also offers an excellent compromise between acoustic performance, power and low emissions.
To prevent boom at certain engine speeds, the crankshaft has evolved too. Made from steel, it features eight counterweights which improve its rigidity and balance in a bid to reduce parasitic vibrations and friction in the camshafts.
A six-speed gearbox designed for performance
New Clio Renault Sport comes with an evolution of the TL4 six-speed gearbox, the first Alliance developed manual transmission which is capable of handling up to 240Nm (24.5mkg). This precision, close-ratio gearbox features specific gearing to favour acceleration from all intermediate engine speeds. Acceleration from standstill to 60 mph requires a mere 6.9 seconds, while the kilometre standing start is covered in just 27.5 seconds. Top speed is 133 mph, restricted to 7,000rpm. With a combined cycle fuel consumption of 8.9l/100km (209g of CO2/km), New Clio Renault Sport’s fuel consumption is amongst the lowest of the hot hatch segment for cars of comparable power output.