The Clio RS Gordini is fun enough to let you enjoy it around town, but that just makes you want to send the speedo’s needle to the opposite end even more and to do this you have to leave the urban areas behind.
We’ll start with the not-so-obvious conclusion: this car is suitable for long trips. The soft seats and the decent suspension mean that the only ones that will have to suffer after a cross-country journey will be the tires. Excepting the level of noise part a certain speed, which means that you’re going over the legal limit by a hefty margin anyway, this car is suitable for covering long distances.
Touch a small button located to the right of the steering column and the ESP, as well as the ASR are left behind. However, you are never alone with the open-diff front axle, as the CSV, Renault’s way of electronically simulating a limited slip differential, is always there.
Since we started mentioning how the car lets you punish the front tires, we’ll tell you that the aforementioned system is superior to most of its kind, but still good seconds behind the mechanical LSD on the Megane RS
However, the perfect balance of the chassis, means that using the throttle to steer is no longer a notion reserved for RWD or AWD cars. When you trailbrake this car, of just play with lift-off oversteer, the transition is so smooth that you’re wondering if you’ve left the tarmac and entered an icy road. The back steps out predictably and in a perfectly linear way and comes back in the same manner.
The linear power delivery of the 2.0-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder unit is impressive. However, to really get the explosions going, you need to take the poweprlant past 4,000 rpm. From this point on, it all goes crazy and stays this way until you hit 7,500, a point where you hear a “beep”, just in time to shift up before you hit the limiter.
The 2010 revamp has brought an extra 3 hp, but, more importantly, 20 percent of the torque is nor available at lower revs, thanks to the use of a new cylinder head, continuously variable intake valve timing and a new ECU map.
Basically, Renault Sport made the car more drivable, rather than go for the usual mods pursued by owners that might take the power up to 220 hp, but make the car more difficult to use everyday.
The power is there when you want it, and correcting your induced oversteering maneuvers by applying the throttle is a child’s play. As for the part where you want to loose speed, the Brembo brakes not only offer serious stopping power, but come with enough fade resistance to make you want to quit fooling around before making them fail their job.Continue reading
Hold on, Mary would like to say something...
It’s a Renault Clio, one of my shopping friends drives one too and she says it’s awful because there’s no space in the boot, so what’s all the fuss about? I understand that it has 200 hp, but is that all you men care about?
Read the full opinion and flame the editor →