2021 Renault Zoe RS Rendered, Rumored to Replace Clio RS

Looking back at the archive of spyshots for the new Renault Clio, we realized that we don't actually have an RS model in there. Our spies said we did, but it looks more like a 1.3-liter turbo model that doesn't cut the mustard.
2020 Renault Zoe RS Rendered, Rumored to Replace Clio RS 2 photos
Photo: Kleber Silva
2021 Renault Zoe RS Rendered, Rumored to Replace Clio RS
Normally, by this time, the French automaker would at least have a working chassis. So could they be giving up on the idea of a small hot hatch altogether?

It's not something the fans want to see happen. Sure, the Mk4 was criticized for combining a 1.6L turbo engine with a double-clutch gearbox, but it's still plenty-fast and fun. This could be linked to new emissions regulations, which have already cost the life of the Peugeot 208 GTi.

Yes, you can still make the car and sell it, but the extra taxes you'd pay make such a project less worthwhile. In the case of the Peugeot, we just reported how they might be looking to replace it with a 208 GTe fully-electric model, and Renault might do the same thing.

Renault representatives reportedly told Auto Express magazine that the Clio RS isn't feasible, but they're looking to replace this with a hot EV. Obviously, this wouldn't be a Clio model, but a Zoe.

“Today, a Clio RS would need very elaborate technology to reach lower CO2 levels. And by keeping the high performance necessary for such a vehicle, you would have to charge such a big premium that those customers would be mostly unable to afford it”, said Ali Kasai, Executive VP of Product Planning. “At the moment, even if we love sporty cars, as is our history, we can’t find the solution to that equation – it’s impossible. Also, looking at the competition, we don’t see many rivals.”

Imagining a Zoe RS is easy, as we've shown you multiple renderings. A few years ago, Renault also presented an exaggerated concept called the Zoe e-Sport. With two electric motors borrowing Formula E technology, it was fast enough to take on a might Porsche 911 GTS.

Obviously, the real Zoe RS wouldn't have anywhere near that much power, but somewhere in the 150 to 204 HP ballpark. This would make it slower than the 220 HP Clio Trophy, though not necessarily less fun. Don't judge EVs until you've experienced the instant torque of one; it's unlike anything a hot hatch has.

“The question is, what is the performance? What is the range of that car? How would it be on track?”, Kasai added. “Renaultsport is a serious player, so if we do the car, it has to have the performance. But if it can only do one lap of a track and then it has to go to a charging station, well, that’s not what we want to do.”

And in case you're still finding it hard to picture, here's a 2020 Zoe RS rendering via Kleber Silva, complete with big wheels, larger intakes and bright yellow paint.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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