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Paris Motor Show 2012: RenaultSport Clio 200

This may not go down very well...

Renault has revealed the new RenaultSport Clio 200 at today’s Paris Motor Show, but fans of the previous models may be in for a shock. The tried and testing approach of a large naturally aspirated engine mated to a rifle-bolt manual gearbox wrapped in a sporty 3-door body has been completely scrapped for this generation.

Thanks (not really) to legislation, the new RS200 has now got a 1.6 litre turbocharged four cylinder engine linked to a 6-speed dual clutch paddle shift automatic gearbox. If this wasn’t bad enough, it’s also only available in a 5-door bodyshell. Current Clio RS200 owners may be hanging onto their models for a while longer…

The new engine doesn’t even counter with a higher power output – it’s the same at 197 bhp though it is produced lower at 6000 rpm, and the torque figure is higher at 177 lb/ft.

The gearbox has a Normal, Sport and Race mode which are selectable with the help of an RS button. This changes the engine parameters and gearbox mapping, as well as the response of the throttle pedal and the steering feel.

Unfortunately the French automaker did not release any performance figures, but in Race mode it should manage 0-62 mph in less than 6.5 seconds. The Renault Clio RS 200 will be offered with an optional Launch Control system so the sprint will be achieved even quicker.

The RS200 is distinguished from the standard model by new front and rear bumpers. Up front there is an extra meshed grille below the badge, and a silver ‘F1 blade’ as seen on the current RS200 and Megane 265 Trophy. At the rear there is a diffuser that apparently works, flanked by exhaust pipes. As standard, the hot hatch comes with 17-inch alloy wheels but for more money 18-inch alloys are available.

The interior has sports bucket seats that for additional money can be wrapped in leather. Standard goodies include starter button, hands free entry, Bluetooth and USB support, touchscreen navigation and the company’s new R-Link infotainment system. Parking sensors and automatic climate control are on the options list.

We just really hope it drives as well as the outgoing model, or Renault will be losing a lot of hardcore hot hatch fans.

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