RENAULT is laying down the gauntlet to its hot supermini rivals with its fiery new Clio Renaultsport 200 Turbo, due to hit the streets in June.
Beneath its five-door bodyshell, the car packs the new Renaultsport-developed 200bhp, 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine, as well as its performance arm’s first Efficient Dual Clutch transmission.
It means all six gears can be selected via full-sized steering column-mounted paddle shifters and includes the first sub-supercar multi-changedown function.
Faster than ever - it can hit 62mph in 6.7 seconds – the newcomer tips the scales at 1,204kg, which is 36 kilos lighter than the previous Clio Renaultsport 200.
Renault says that to ensure it remains the ultimate ‘hot’ supermini, the brand has introduced a raft of technical upgrades like hydraulic compression stops in the shock absorbers – usually the preserve of rally cars.
There’s also new steering calibration, increased anti-roll bar stiffness, bigger brakes and R.S. Drive with three driving modes - Normal, Sport and the entirely manual Race setting.
Launch Control, with fully disconnectable ESC and traction control, is also part of the package.
The optional Cup chassis gives a 3mm lowered ride height, 15 per cent more stiffness and a quicker steering rack, along with Dunlop Sport Maxx tyres shod with gloss black 18-inch Renaultsport wheels with red brake calipers
Despite all the dynamic changes Renault has still slashed fuel economy and emissions by almost a quarter, the combined fuel figure up 10.3mpg to 44.8mpg with emissions down to 144g/km from 190.
Equipment includes Bluetooth, USB connectivity, R-Link multimedia system with 7-inch touchscreen, keyless start and entry, R-Link integrated tablet with navigation and Renaultsport front seats.
A special sound pipe sends the engine’s sound waves directly into the cabin for a heightened driving experience and there are red touches for seatbelts, instrument needles, air vent surrounds, gearlever knob and gaiter.
Five body colours, including the exclusive Liquid Yellow, are up for grabs and the order book opens in April.