Paris Show 2012 Highlights: 2013 Renaultsport Clio

A normally aspirated engine and a manual gearbox have both been axed from the Renaultsport Clio as the firm looks to turn its consistently class-leading hot hatch into a more focused driver’s tool than ever.

Both the regular Clio 4 and the new Renaultsport Clio 200 have been revealed at the Paris motor show. The latter will be exclusively available with a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine and a six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, spelling the end for the famed Renaultsport Clio hallmarks of high-revving normally aspirated engines mated to manual gearboxes.

This switch, claims Renaultsport’s managing director Patrice Ratti, will take the car’s “sporting driving experience to the next level”.

The new 1.6 turbo engine produces 197bhp at 6000rpm. The outgoing RS Clio’s normally aspirated 2.0 unit produced the same power, but at 7200rpm.

Torque is increased by 19lb ft to 177lb ft over the outgoing car’s 158lb ft. But whereas the 2.0 engine’s peak torque arrived at 5400rpm, the turbocharger in the new car’s 1.6 allows peak torque to be available from just 1750rpm and remain constant until 5600rpm.

The Renaultpsort-developed dual-clutch transmission – named ‘EDC’ (Efficient Dual Clutch) – can be left to its own devices or manually controlled using steering wheel mounted shifters. It can make gearshifts in just 150 milliseconds in Race mode, but will still be comfortable and user friendly for everyday use, according to Renault.

Race mode is one of three selectable – alongside Normal and Sport – that can be selected by a new ‘RS Drive’ button in the interior. This alters parameters including engine and gearbox mapping, steering feel and throttle pedal response. Renault has yet to confirm performance figures for the new model, but in Race mode a 0-62mph of less than 6.5sec is to be expected. It could even get close to the 6.0sec mark as a Launch Control system will be offered. The old cover cracked 0-62mph in 6.9sec.

Renault claims the 16v, four-cylinder engine, which largely based on the Renault-Nissan Alliance’s widely-used 1.6 turbo engine, features ‘DLC’ (Diamond Like Carbon) cam followers technology adapted from its Formula 1 engines. Other features of the engine include direct-injection, variable valve timing and a brake energy recovery system.

Thanks to: Autocar


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