Renaultsport Clio 200 Turbo (2012) first pictures | CAR Magazine

Renaultsport Clio 200 Turbo (2012) first pictures

Published: 27 September 2012 Updated: 26 January 2015

This is the new Renaultsport Clio 200 Turbo. And as those last two words signify that although this new Clio RS has no more horsepower than its predecessor, it is now turbocharged. Outgoes the old hot Clio’s naturally aspirated 197bhp 2.0-litre engine, in comes a blown 1.6 with the same output, and rather than a six-speed manual gearbox the front wheels are now only driven via a double-clutch gearbox.

All change for the new Renaultsport Clio 200 Turbo then?

Indeed. Renault claims that its new Clio RS is ‘an innovative response to the highly sophisticated expectations of the compact sports hatchback customer’. The 2.0-litre, 16 valve and four-cylinder engine produces 197bhp (200PS, hence the name) at 6000rpm (versus 7100rpm for the old Clio RS). But while peak torque is only up 19lb ft (to 177lb ft) it’s produced from 1750rpm through to 5600rpm, whereas the old car didn’t producd its 158lb ft until 5400rpm.

That power is sent to the front wheels through a Renaultsport version of Renault’s six-speed EDC (Efficient Double Clutch) gearbox, but there are steering column-mounted paddles and three modes for the transmission, In ‘Race’ mode it can shift cogs in just 150 milliseconds.

Obviously aware that turbo’d four-pot engines don’t sound that great, Renaultsport claims that the exhaust note ‘has been the object of particular attention’. And there’s an R-Sound Effect kit that plays a number of different engine noises (matched to the revs and speed) through the car’s speakers.

What about the chassis?

There’s a standard Sport chassis, but as with all Renaultsport models there’s a more focused Cup version with 15% stiffer suspension and a 5mm lower ride height. The front brakes are a chunky 320mm in diameter.

Other tweaks include a more aggressive bodykit (although the RS doesn’t stand out as much as its predecessors due to the new Mk4 Clio already looking quite sporty) with a new diffuser and spoiler that are claimed to generate 80% and 20% more downforce respectively. The standard alloys are 17s, 18in rims are an option and the RS-spec interior includes bucket seats and sat-nav as standard.

Renault claims the combination of a downsized turbocharged engine and dual clutch gearbox cuts CO2 emissions by around 25% and improves fuel consumption from 34.4mpg to over 45mpg, but will it be at the expense of the traits we know and love?

By Ben Pulman

Ex-CAR editor-at-large