The Renaultsport variant of the Clio builds on the classic RS treatment with a new faceEnlarge Photo
The engine is definitely a pint-sized powerhouse, but it pays the price with a torque curve biased toward the higher end. The 2.0L 16-valve unit generates 200hp (149kW) but does so at 7,100rpm, with max torque of 158lb-ft (215Nm) coming at 5,400rpm.
Despite the peaky power curve, the car still manages a power-to-weight ratio of 166hp/tonne, enough to shoot the little hatch to 62mph (100km/h) in a tick under 7 seconds and on to a top speed of 141mph.
A choice of two chassis tunings is available, the Cup which is 36kg lighter and sportier, or the standard, which sacrifices less in the way of comfort. All Clio RS models get the same aerodynamics package, complete with functional front-wing air extractors, a functional rear diffuser and a front splitter for added downforce.
Braking is handled by big Brembo calipers, and 17in alloy wheels wrapped in 215-section-width rubber keep the car planted to the road. A widened track - 48mm front and 50mm rear - improves handling, while a 10mm longer wheelbase adds high-speed stability. Renaultsport badging on the outside and inside of the car lets everyone know this is no normal Clio.
Inside, the Clio RS gets optional custom Recaro seating, a choice of sporty Silver Grey/Yellow/Anthracite color schemes, and contrasting stitching. Aluminum pedal covers and Renaultsport branding on the rev-counter background, door sills and front seats.
Despite all the sporty demeanor, the Clio RS still checks in with combined fuel efficiency rated at 34.5mpg and CO2 emissions of just 195g/km.