It’s not long now until the Renaultsport Clio 200 Turbo hits our shores and the publicity machine is stepping up a gear ahead of the Geneva Motor Show.
What Is It?
The Renaultsport Clio 200 Turbo is the latest in a long line of superb hot hatches from the French car maker. For years now it’s been the pick of the hottest superminis with its combination of 2.0-litre engine and perfectly tuned chassis.
The trouble is, the Renaultsport Clio’s days were numbered thanks to that engine. It was struggling to meet emissions regulations and the turbocharged competition were starting to make the 200’s engine look a bit weak.
So now we have a smaller 1.6-litre engine with a turbocharger, bundled with a standard-fit semi-automatic 6-speed gearbox with dual clutches. It’s only available as a five-door too. Talk about changes!
What’s Special About It?
To put our minds at rest and cheer us up a bit Renault have released a few juicy morsels of technical information. This is no standard Clio!
For a start, alongside the 200hp output (available at 6,000rpm) the Clio 200 Turbo has 25Nm of extra torque, most of which is available across a wider rev range (240Nm from 1,750 to 5,500rpm). So you don’t need to thrash the doodahs off it to get anywhere. It’s 36 kilos lighter than the old model and faster to 62mph too – it only takes 6.7 seconds.
For the engineers out there, the Clio 200 Turbo is the first production car to use feature hydraulic compression stops in its shock absorbers. That’s something that you’d usually find on rally cars and while I don’t pretend to understand the benefits I’m sure it’s a good thing.
The new R.S. Drive system has three modes that alter settings for the engine, throttle, steering and stability control. You can choose from Normal, Sport and Race, with the latter forcing you to take over control of the gears with the wheel-mounted paddles, with shift times dropping to under 150 milliseconds in latter. It’s got Launch Control too. Handy in the supermarket car park, I’m sure.
The Cup chassis makes a comeback and drops the ride by 3mm, with 15% stiffer springs and a quicker steering rack. It comes with Dunlop Sport Maxx tyres, gloss black 18-inch wheels and bright red brake calipers.
It’s even got an updated version of the R.S. Monitor telemetry system. It displays all sorts of geeky stats, including torque, G-forces, lap times and standing starts. Even better than that is the ability to download it all onto a USB stick so you can analyse your favourite driving moments on your laptop.
How Much Is It?
We don’t know yet, although UK prices are due to be announced at the end of the month. Order books open in April and deliveries start in June.