Renault have been busy in the run up to the Geneva Motor Show, giving us a new Megane RS, a facelift to the Clio range and now two new versions of their fantastic hot hatch – enter the Renaultsport Clio 200 and Clio 200 Cup.
The new 200 is slightly more refined than the old 197, with more standard equipment and a longer list of optional extras. While that might not sound very exciting to fans of the hot Clio, there is a much more interesting Cup chassis available that makes the Clio lighter, stiffer and more driver-focused than the outgoing model.
As you might have guessed, the model name gives a clue to some extra power. Both cars are powered by the same 2.0-litre engine as seen in the 197, but with some modifications (such as a new cylinder head and continuously variable intake valve timing) power is up to 200bhp at 7100rpm and there’s a handy increase in torque (215Nm at 5400rpm). This is enough to allow the Clio 200 to accelerate from 0-62mph in just 6.9 seconds, and the top speed increases by 2mph to 141mph.
The Clio 200 gets a 10mm longer wheelbase and wider track (48mm at the front and 50mm rear), but the Cup version takes this a step further with recalibrated dampers and stiffer springs that allow it to sit 7mm lower than the standard 200. The Cup also shaves off 36kg with the fitting of lighter seat frames, wheels and transmission and also benefits from greater torsional rigidity (up 10% over the 200). A faster steering rack (7.5% quicker) helps to improve feedback from the wheels. Both models get new ‘independent axis’ steering that helps to reduce torque steer, which should help to keep the Clio at the top of the class in terms of handling prowess.
Interested? If not, why not? If you are, expect the two new Renaultsports to arrive in showrooms in May at a price of around £15,500 for the standard Clio 200 and £16,500 for the 200 Cup.