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All-new Renault Clio revealed

Bigger and 5-dr only, has the Clio grown up too much?

Renault has unveiled the all-new 2013 Clio ahead of its public debut at the Paris Motor Show this September.

Sporting a larger body, the new Clio aims to be a step up in quality and sales for the struggling French marque. In the last year Renault have been struggling with sales as they now reside in a market black hole between budget offerings like Kia and Hyundai and more premium brands like VW, Skoda and even Audi. But with this new Clio they aim to claw back some of those sales, given that the previous model’s age was one of the reasons it languished in the sales charts.

Featuring the first appearance of Renault’s new corporate identity, the new Clio has a sharp look with many influences from the DeZir concept. At the front there is a bold grille with the largest application of the Renault logo yet, flanked by large headlamp units and featuring LED daytime running lights. Below sits a wide single piece lower intake with the foglights. Heavily sculpted sides with interesting sill detailing help to disguise the hidden rear door handles, while at the back there are bulging rear wheelarches and neat rear light clusters.

Overall the look has a hint of Seat Ibiza around the rear quarters, but the distinctive nose could be nothing but a Renault. Inside the quality has apparently gone up a few notches and there’s a nice floating centre console featuring a 7-inch touch infotainment screen when you specify the new R-Link system. This combines TomTom satellite navigation with DAB digital radio, internet connectivity and the Renault R-Link Store where drivers can buy Apps to customise the interface, install games and email clients and even install synthetic engine noises for the cabin. Baffling.

The new 2013 Clio features a range of three engines to keep it ahead of the pack. First up is the all-new ultra frugal 0.9 litre, three cylinder turbocharged 90 bhp TCe 90, which features economy of 65.7 mpg and CO2 emissions of just 99 g/km.

In addition to this there is the 1.2 litre turbo petrol engine with 120 bhp and the venerable  1.5 litre DCi diesel engine putting out 90 bhp. There will be an Eco2 version of the diesel with taller gearing and low resistance tyres which will have incredible economy figures of 88.2 mpg and 83 g/km of CO2.

The 1.2 and 1.5 models will be available with a dual clutch transmission and car for car should weigh around 100 kg less than the predecessor, despite the increased dimensions.

The interesting move by Renault is that this Clio will be 5-door only. They have decided that the 3-door supermini market is rapidly decreasing so have not developed a 3-door variant. This may be a good move for the majority of the range, but it's sad news for fans of the Renaultsport Clio, which has consistently been the best handling hot hatch for many years as a 5-door model is likely to not be as focused. Promising a 1.6 litre turbo engine with over 200 bhp it will certainly have the performance, but it remains to be seen if Renault can make the taller body handle with such deftness as the previous model.

The order books open for the new Clio in October, with deliveries starting in early 2013. Prices have been dropped by around £1000 per variant over the previous model with the base 0.9 litre model coming in at under £10,500.

Images courtesy of Renault

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About Tim Oldland

Contributing Editor - Long time petrolhead, automotive design engineer and journalist. Also Social Media Manager for the ecurie25 Group - Tim has worked in the automotive sector for many years, but has been a fan of anything with 2 or 4... read more