Whether you find the sleek front fascia
of the new Clio adorable or you have a grudge against its microscopic third side window, the man you’d have to talk to about this is Laurens van den Acker. Coming from Mazda, the designer not only penned the Clio, but received the task to redefine the visual identity of the entire brand.
We had been waiting to find out how Mr. van den Acker would perform on a “normal” car ever since we drove the Renault Twizy
and we have to say that we like what we see.
The new model bets on the playful card, straying far from its predecessor's restrained looks, but it's still got a Clio identity.
Unlike the Ford Fiesta, which is just as bold, but uses more conventional design elements, the Clio likes to see its various parts converge in order to create a futuristic aspect.
The front end is dominated by the super-sized Renault badge
, which is flanked by the LED daytime running lights and by a pair of generously-sized headlights.
Renault's Clio doesn't want to hear about a three-door version anymore, so its profile has disguised itself into one in order to make up for this. Like an illusionist who draws your attention from what's he's actually doing with little gimmicks, the Clio comes with features like hidden rear door handles and sculpted elements in the side skirt area.
All these do deserve some applause and so does the rear end, whose thin taillights
and rear apron show a strong personality.
And just when you think playtime is over, you get to the part where you can color-configure its various exterior elements. There are many available roof graphics and you can choose between multiple finishes for elements such as the grille, rear hatch and aforementioned side elements.
All this visual drama is a layer that sits over what can describe as an important alteration of the car's proportions. The new Clio rides on a modified version of the old model's platform. Length was increased by 1.18 inches (30 mm), while the wheelbase has grown by 0.55 inches (14 mm) and the tracks have been widened by 0.6 inches (15 mm). The Renault Clio is 1.77 inches (45 mm) lower than it used to be, while the ride height also drops by 0.4 inches (10 mm).
Despite the increase in size, the Clio also got about 220 lbs (100 kg) lighter. Perhaps it wanted to keep things simple and describe itself as a one-ton car.Continue reading