Driving Spirit recently had the opportunity to drive the new Renault Clio and first impressions were very good but … yes, there is a but … the current range of engines is a bit short on va-va-voom. There’s the full-fat Renaultsport Clio coming along anytime now but what do you do if you want performance but can’t quite stretch to the 200 Turbo? Renault may have the answer in the shape of the GT-Line and its new TCE 120 engine.
What Is It?
Think of the GT-Line as Renaultsport-lite. The two models share almost identical grille, bumpers, front lip spoiler and sills and even have the same lower position for the LED driving lights, marking them out as different to the more mundane models.
Finished off with 17-inch wheels and and a pair of chromed tailpipes the GT looks, to the untrained eye, very much like a Reanultsport model. Add the special Malta Blue paintwork from the Renault i.d. range and you have a very racy looking Clio.
What’s Special About It?
The GT-Line features a lot of the technology that you’ll find on the more powerful Renaultsport Clio.
For a start it uses turbocharging and the same six-speed dual-clutch semi-automatic gearbox with wheel-mounted paddles. Just like in the 200 Turbo there’s a ‘Renaultsport Drive’ button that changes the gear shift programming, as well as the steering feel and response from the throttle pedal.
The GT-Line even has the latest version of the Renaultsport Monitor, the on-board telemetry system that gives you more information about the car and performance than you’re ever likely to need.
You may be beginning to wonder if the GT-Line is treading a bit too closely to the 200 Turbo’s toes but when you look under the bonnet you start to realise there’s a big difference between the two. The TCE engine is a 1.2-litre unit that offers 120bhp, some way short of the Renaultsport’s 200bhp. Where it does beat the Renaultsport is on economy, with the promise of 54.3mpg and CO2 emissions of just 120g/km.
How Much Does It Cost?
No official word on prices just yet but the UK order books open in April ready for first deliveries in July.
If you’re still not convinced by the GT-Line there is another added bonus if you buy one – you’ll be able to attend the Enthusiast Days organised by Renaultsport. The calendar of track days, driver tuition, and factory visits are hugely popular. You might not have a fully fledged Renaultsport model but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to join in the fun.