Details of the new Renault Clio have been announced ahead of the car’s public debut at the Paris Motor Show in September.
The new Clio is offered exclusively as a five-door model with the rear door handles concealed near the C-pillars. The styling is influenced by Renault’s DeZir concept car, with a bold front grille and heavily sculptured lines on the doors. At 4.06 meters, the new Clio is 350 mm longer than its predecessor. The new hatch is also 45 mm lower, at 1.45 meters high, and 24 mm wider at 1.73 meters. Renault say the altered wheelbase, wider tracks, revised electrically-assisted steering, as well as an average weight saving of 100 kg over the current model, give the new Clio an improved driving experience.
Inside, the new Clio is more plush than before, with a dashboard said to have been sculpted in the shape of an aircraft wing. Dominating the dash is a ‘floating’ centre console, finished in piano black with chrome edging, which also houses the Clio’s Internet-ready, 7-inch, touchscreen infotainment system. Other options include a reversing camera, keyless entry and a bass reflex system, which boosts the stereo’s sound.
In Europe, the new Renault Clio will be available with one of three engines: a 3-cylinder, 0.9-litre TCe with 66 kW and 135 Nm; a 4-cylinder, 1.2-litre TCe with 88 kW and 190 Nm of torque; and a 4-cylinder, 1.5-litre turbo-diesel with 66 kW (no torque figure released) and fuel consumption of 3.2 L/100km.
The new Renault Clio goes on sale in October after a launch at the Paris Motor Show in September, with the Renaultsport Clio likely to arrive in Spring 2013. Speaking of which, the 2013 Renault Clio RS was one of many new vehicles to make an appearance at last week’s Goodwood Festival of Speed.
The camouflaged Clio RS spotted at Goodwood was said to be running with a double-clutch gearbox (likely to be an optional extra over the standard 6-speed manual) and a turbocharged, 1.6-litre engine under the bonnet. The small capacity turbo’d engine should deliver in the region of 150 kW, but torque is expected to increase over the current 2.0-litre engine’s 215 Nm. The increased torque should also provide more mid-range punch, something older Clio RS’s struggled with.
The move to a smaller, turbocharged, engine in the new range-topping Clio is a substantial one, but is also welcome and necessary, in as far as ‘moving with the times’ is concerned. The introduction of the Volkswagen Polo GTI, with its turbo- and supercharged 1.4-litre engine, mated to a 7-speed DSG gearbox, has lead the supermini pack in technology and efficiency terms, so the new Clio RS will bring Renault up-to-date in this department.
The new Renault Clio RS won’t have it easy though, as in addition to the Polo GTI, the new Ford Fiesta ST is also expected to arrive next year, which will make for some interesting group tests no doubt.