RENAULTSPORT CLIO 200 - FULL DETAILS
Sub-£20K, gadgets galore and a promise it'll keep hardcore appeal while playing to a wider audience too
One number glaringly absent is the price; numbers are being crunched as we write. A Renault contact confirmed sub-£20K and that 'we're fully aware of Focus ST and Peugeot 208 GTI pricing' which would put it, respectively, somewhere between £22K and £19K. £19,995 then?
In such a competitive sector, price margins are amplified. Clearly the Clio isn't going to be the cheapest, but Renault is keen to point out where your money goes.
The turbocharged 200hp 1.6-litre engine promises greater flexibility than the normally aspirated 2.0-litre it replaces, not to mention friendlier emissions and fuel consumption - 144g/km and 44.8mpg officially.
But it's the onboard gadgetry where Renault is really staking the new 200's reputation. The standard R-link touchscreen nav system incorporates second-gen Renaultsport Monitor 2.0. Which means proper telemetry and data-logging, downloadable to a USB stick and viewable through software coming 'at a later date.' A full hour of driving data can be stored in a single 3mb file, matching GPS data and in-car parameters for throttle position, gears, steering angle and the rest that'll finally prove, without a doubt, that you were flat through Craner Curves. Or whichever corner you happen to have been going around.
But the three-mode RS Drive and its interaction with the EDC gearbox, throttle response, engine noise, steering, stability control and launch control is where the gizmo overload really kicks in, bringing M5 or Nissan GT-R levels of configurability to the hot hatch market for the first time. Normal, Sport and Race modes deliver three different combinations of a dozen different parameters, Race offering the most hardcore with fully manual shifts and electronic safety nets fully disengaged.
Which brings us to 572 words, or a tenth of what it took Renault. More once we've driven it...