Hot hatch bonanza: Renault Clio R.S launched.
Renault Clio R.S launched in South Africa
The Renault Clio is a car that has won the heart of many a petrol head due to its boisterous attitude and nimble chassis. When it comes to hot hatches, handling is everything and that is something the fast Clio’s have always had on their side. Despite being late to the turbocharging game, the naturally aspirated Clio 3 was a car that still made grown men very happy. This was further amplified when the Clio 4 debuted with a turbocharged engine. Now with its recently face-lifted body, the new Renault Clio R.S comes out aggressively in two derivatives, LUX and TROPHY. Here’s what you need to know:
The Renault Clio R.S LUX is the more docile of the range, featuring 147 kW it still packs a punch, especially due to the fact that it’s mated to a fast changing 6-speed EDC gearbox. It rides standard on 17 inch wheels and looks just as good as the TROPHY, only a bit calmer. The TROPHY on the other hand produces 162 kW, has 18inch wheels and wait for it…an Akrapovic exhaust as standard. The TROPHY is also 20mm lower in the front and 10mm lower in the rear, compared to the LUX model – making it more eager to take corners faster. The R.S comes with a clever electronic differential to make sure you can put that power down effectively. As we all know, you’re only as good as the amount of traction you have, so if you can’t put your power down you may as well stay at home. To further aid that, the R.S has launch control so you can get off the line in a glorious manner, should you bump into a Ford Fiesta ST200.
Of course tech is a must in this segment and the Renault Clio R.S comes chockablock with cool toys to keep the little boy or girl in you alive. The R.S Monitor for instance allows you to play with various vehicle settings. R.S Drive lets you choose between a Normal, Sport and Race mode, the same way you would in other luxury marques. A 7-inch infotainment screen comes standard with features like USB, Auxiliary input and Bluetooth streaming too. The car also includes a keyless card system for convenient access into the vehicle. Obviously one can expect that Renault would make systems such as ESC, ABS and EBD standard, which they have, so you can rest assured that you won’t lock up into a tree under heavy breaking.
We’ve saved the best for last – the new Clio R.S’s looks. Hands down, this has got to be one of the nicest looking hot hatches available. Who can say their fog lamps are LED’s in the shape of a checkered flag? Only R.S drivers. Yes, Renault seems to always have their bravery suits on when it comes to styling their cars. For instance, why not slap on some Gold/Yellow gloss paint? We think it’s great. Now to the serious stuff though. The question that comes to mind when considering all the features in this car is; will all this new technology not come at a cost? That cost is old school driving thrills. This refers specifically to the EDC gearbox which is the only option you have in the car. Does it leave you wanting for a good old manual gearbox? We can only answer that question once we’ve driven the car. Until then, the Clio R.S makes for some good eye candy.
Clio R.S 200 EDC LUX: R379 900
Clio R.S 200 EDC TROPHY: R419 900