The quickest and most powerful Clio in history!

The fourth-generation Renault Clio was unveiled at the 2012 Paris Motor Show with a significantly redesigned body and interior as well as brand-new and updated engines. Unlike its predecessors, it didn’t receive three-door hatchback and sedan versions, being offered only as a five-door hatch or five-door estate. The Clio IV is underpinned by the Alliance B platform co-developed by Renault and Nissan in the late 1990s, but features comprehensive updates that makes it suitable for the 21st century. The fourth-gen hatch also spawns a new track-ready model, the R.S. 200, as well as a limited-edition R.S. 220 Trophy EDC with output increased from 197 horsepower to 217 horsepower.

In 2016, Renault’s high-performance division has unleashed yet another R.S.-badged Clio. Unveiled at the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix on May 27, the new beefed-up hatch wears the R.S. 16 moniker. Although new in this configuration, the "16" numeral was originally introduced on the first-generation Clio, with the 16S being used in certain markets for a performance-oriented version that replaced the 5 GT Turbo. The current name is actually identical to that of the 2016 season Formula One car.

Created to mark the Renault Sport’s 40th anniversary and to celebrate the brand’s return as a Formula One team, the new hatch is the highest performance road-going R.S. model in history and was developed in only five months. Unfortunately, it is only a concept for now and the French firm didn’t say whether it will spawn a production model or not.

“Our aim was to produce a concept car with genuinely outstanding performance credentials,” said Patrice Ratti, Managing Director of Renault Sport Cars. “On paper, producing a Clio R.S. powered by our most potent engine was an extremely appealing idea, but we had to make sure it was feasible.”

Until Renault gives us more information about the production potential of the R.S. 16 concept, let’s have a closer look at what it brings to the table in the detailed review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Renault Clio R.S. KZ 01.

Exterior

2016 Renault Clio R.S. 16 Concept High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Renault Clio R.S. 16 Concept High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Renault Clio R.S. 16 Concept High Resolution Exterior
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The exterior of the R.S. 16 is obviously based on the R.S. 200, but there are a number of features that set the concept apart. Most changes are visible up front, where the bumper sports a larger intake with a gloss-black grille, and LED "R.S. Vision" chequered-pattern lighting featuring exclusive multi-faceted reflector technology instead of the standard daytime running lights. The diamond emblem is also finished in black, while the headlamps have been blacked out.

The exterior of the R.S. 16 is obviously based on the R.S. 200, but there are a number of features that set the concept apart.

Moving on to the sides, the hatchback sports beefier wheel arches that make it 60 mm (2.36 inches) wider than the usual Clio R.S., and revised side sills for a race-inspired appearance. The 19-inch wheels are also new and feature a lightweight design with thin spokes and very low-profile tires. Around back, there’s a big wing atop the tailgate and a sports diffuser with big tail pipes on each sides.

The exterior is rounded out by Renault Sport’s trademark Liquid Yellow paint with gloss-black details that mirror the livery of the R.S. 16 Formula One car the French are racing in the 2016 season.

Interior

2015 Renault Clio Renaultsport 220 Trophy EDC High Resolution Interior
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Note: Renault Clio Renaultsport 220 Trophy EDC pictured here.

The interior of the car is still mystery as Renault has yet to release images, but we expect it to be based on the Clio R.S. 220 Trophy. Look for race-ready bucket seats with six-point harnesses, a leather steering wheel with "R.S." badging and a 12-o’clock stripe (and maybe even a flat bottom), and a special plaque on the dashboard.

Given that the 220 Trophy comes with carbon-look air vent surrounds, door handles, and gear lever base plate, we wouldn’t be surprised to see actual carbon-fiber parts on the R.S. 16. It could also have lightweight door panels, but other weight-reducing measures are also on the table.

The Trophy’s optional Renault Monitor is most likely present as well. What this feature does is provide on-board telemetry, including a setting that gives the driver five levels of throttle pedal sensitivity and the option to record lap times, average lap speeds, and 0-to-62 mph sprints.

Drivetrain

2016 Renault Clio R.S. 16 Concept High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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As rumored from the beginning, Renault opted to replace the 1.6-liter turbo-four in the R.S. 220 Trophy with the 2.0-liter mill from the Megane R.S. 275 Trophy-R. Also turbocharged, the four banger cranks out 271 horsepower 266 pound-feet of torque, a 54 horsepower and 74 pound-foot improvement compared to the smaller engine. Along with the engine, the R.S. 16 also gained the Megane’s six-speed manual gearbox over the Clio’s EDC automatic transmission.

The four banger cranks out 271 horsepower 266 pound-feet of torque, a 54 horsepower and 74 pound-foot improvement compared to the smaller engine

Renault says that finding the ideal way to house the engine, transmission and cooling system of the Megane R.S. 275 Trophy-R was a significant challenge and required several modifications to the hatchback’s structure. The twin-pipe Akrapovic exhaust system was also revised for the Clio, while the suspension was engineered to match the car’s new performance characteristics.

Renault has yet to release performance figures, but it’s safe to assume that the R.S. 16 concept is significantly quicker than the Clio 220 Trophy. For reference, the latter hits 62 mph in 6.6 seconds on its way to a top speed of 146 mph. If I were to take a guess, I’d say that the R.S. 16 needs around six ticks to reach the same benchmark.

Conclusion

2016 Renault Clio R.S. 16 Concept High Resolution Exterior
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An entry-level automaker since day one, Renault isn’t the kind of company that produced exciting cars on a regular basis. However, when it comes to race cars and special vehicles built by the Renault Sport division, the brand has tremendous potential. Both the Clio R.S. 220 Trophy and the Megane R.S. 275 Trophy-R are wonderful examples of what Renault Sport can do to otherwise mundane street cars and the R.S. 16 concept blends the best of them. A Clio with the output of a range-topping Megane is any enthusiasts’ dream and a production version will be a hit with gearheads in Europe and would probably set a new Nurburgring record for front-wheel drive cars too. The R.S. 16 is arguably the most exciting production-ready concept Renault has released in years and the fact that we may be able to buy it in the near future makes it that much better.

  • Leave it
    • Only a concept car for now
    • Some official details are still under wraps

Press Release

Renault Sport have unveiled a new concept car on the streets of Monaco’s famous Grand Prix circuit today driven by Renault Sport Formula One Team’s Kevin Magnussen. The Clio R.S.16 is the highest performance Renault Sport road-going vehicle ever and its reveal in 2016 celebrates both 40 years of Renault Sport and Renault’s return to Formula One as a constructor.

2016 Renault Clio R.S. 16 Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Developed in record time

“Our aim was to produce a concept car with genuinely outstanding performance credentials,” notes Patrice Ratti, Managing Director of Renault Sport Cars, leader of the project which particularly inspired the development team’s specialists. “On paper, producing a Clio R.S. powered by our most potent engine – namely the 275-horsepower two-litre power unit which delivers peak torque of 360Nm – was an extremely appealing idea, but we had to make sure it was feasible.”

Thanks to new working procedures involving teams from the worlds of motorsport and road cars, the development of the highest-performance road-going Renault Sport car ever took just five months from start to finish.

A variety of technical challenges

Finding the ideal way to house the engine, transmission and cooling system of the Mégane R.S. 275 Trophy-R was a significant challenge. The exhaust system was also revised as a function of the engine’s potential, while the suspension was engineered to match the car’s outstanding performance characteristics. Careful attention was paid to the sound produced by the car, too, and an Akrapovič twin exhaust system was selected.

Performance-led design

The design and development team dealt successfully with the constraints inherent in the Clio R.S. 16 project (body widened by 60mm, 19-inch wheels and optimisation of the engine cooling system) to produce an expressive, sporty stance. The result is enhanced by an LED R.S. VISION chequered-pattern lighting signature featuring exclusive multi-faceted reflector technology.

2016 Renault Clio R.S. 16 Concept High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Renault Sport’s trademark Liquid Yellow has been combined with gloss black details to mirror the livery of Renault Sport Formula One Team’s R.S.16 F1 single-seaters.

After today’s first public airing in the streets of Monaco, the car’s next official appearance will be the Goodwood Festival of Speed on June 23-26.

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