Renaultsport Clio 220 Trophy EDC revealed at Geneva 2015

Published: 03 March 2015

► The new hotter Clio Trophy is here
► 20% more power, at 217bhp
► Enough to make a proper hot hatch?

Renaultsport tends to reserve the Trophy badge for its extra special hot hatches – and here’s the latest: the Renaultsport Clio 220 Trophy EDC. 

The new model now boasts 217bhp – a 20% increase over the existing 197bhp model. Torque also increases to 192lb ft from 177lb ft, with a ‘Torque Boost’ function in third and fourth gears to 207lb ft. The Clio RS Trophy also gets a lower and stiffer chassis, stickier tyres, quicker steering and lower emissions. A comprehensive upgrade… 

I’m sensing a ‘but’ – what’s the bad news about the new Renaultsport Clio 220 Trophy?

First slight snaggette is that it’s a ‘numbered’ Special Edition – although Renault isn’t saying how big that number is yet, so don’t go out and panic-buy at this stage.

Plenty will also be disappointed – and this is a predictable complaint – that Renaultsport hasn’t seen sense and binned off the EDC twin-clutch gearbox in favour of an old school, row-your-own manual transmission.  The commitment to pull-a-paddle is fully confirmed here.

At least tell me they’ve upgraded the EDC gearbox?

There is a shining light. Renaultsport says shift times are now up to 40% faster in the Normal and Sport modes and 50% faster in Race, while the amount of paddle travel is reduced by 30% – a trick Porsche employed for the 911 GT3.

A higher rev limited – 6,800 instead of 6,500 – and recalibrated gearbox software also means earlier downshifts are now possible. Useful if you’re hard on the brakes into that 90-right.

What’s new about the Renaultsport Clio 220 Trophy’s chassis?

The Trophy chassis is 20mm lower at the front, 10mm lower at the rear, and features springs and dampers up to 40% stiffer than before. Together with the faster steering ratio (from 14.5:1 to 13.2:1) and Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres on 18-inch wheels, this should really sharpen up the Clio’s responses.

How about the engine: just a remap?

A remap is involved, certainly. But getting that extra 20% has also required a new, larger turbocharger and a redesigned air intake. There’s also a new Euro 6 compliant catalytic converter with minimised backpressure. The engine is similar to that fitted in the Nissan Juke Nismo RS

A new start-stop system helps lower emissions by 6g/km to 138g/km, reducing annual VED from £145 to £130. There are no official fuel economy or performance figures at this stage, but expect it to be a tenth or two quicker than the regular car’s 0-62mph in 6.7sec. 

When does the new Renaultsport Clio 220 Trophy go on sale?

The new Renaultsport Clio 220 Trophy is due to arrive in the UK this summer, but pricing is yet to be confirmed. Amongst the options, however, is the new Frost White matt paint with gloss black roof and spoiler, pictured here.

By CJ Hubbard

Former CAR magazine associate editor, road tester, organiser, extremely variable average wheel count

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