Renault Clio 4 RS 200 Scooped in Paris

At the Paris Motor Show, Renault pulled the wraps off the brand new Clio IV RS, a car that changes basically everything which it used to stand for. While we like the changes as regular or Renaultsport fans, there are a hardcore group of people who would disagree. The carmaker has really opened Pandora’s box with this car, swapping the engine, adding two extra doors and making the whole thing more posh.
Renault Clio 4 RS 200 15 photos
Photo: original image created by autoevolution
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One such fan of the Clio RS and a member of Forum-Clio met up with Jean Maxime Boulanger, who is Clio Renault Sport Product Manager, to go over the change. Here’s what was learned!

The five-door configuration was basically imposed by Renault, and the RS division was adamant against it but couldn’t change the design because that would add to the cost. As you all know, the Clio IV was moved upmarket and is a bit larger than before. It’s place in the 3-door supermini market will actually be taken by the next Twingo, which will grow into its new role.

The car shown in Paris was actually only about 98% ready, as some personalization touches still need to be put on, like bits of sporty trim and the RS logos on the seats. There will also 4 personalization schemes combined for interior-exterior and specific to the RS version of the Clio. It also looks like standard xenon headlights that the concept had will be cut from the standard equipment list because of financial reasons.

Also conspicuously missing are the Brembo brakes, which have been in favor of their own setup with 320mm two-piston discs. Both the 17-inch and 18-inch wheels will come with 205 tires because the engineers said the chassis was balanced enough as it was. As a reminder, the old tires were 215 ones, so another loss there.

But Jean Maxime Boulanger was adamant the new Clio 4 RS was going to be fun to drive, even more so than the outgoing one. The ESP, for instance has three setting – normal, ‘playful’ and off. The steering system will be even more direct and responsive, even though it’s lost the independent pivot, as Renaultsport has added two technical innovations which it doesn’t want to reveal just yet.

The Clio 4 RS will be much lighter than its predecessor and thus faster faster, even though it has the same output. The 200 hp 1.6-liter TCe turbo was a compromise with Renault who wanted a balanced setup, but a better acceleration time and top speed are guaranteed. More horsepower and improved dynamics will be added to revised versions.

Speaking of the engine, there will be three driving modes controlled via RS Drive. In NORMAL, 20 to 30% of the torque will come at half-pedal, the exhaust will be silent, steering light and gear changes will take 200 ms. In SPORT, you’ll have 50% of the torque at half-pedal, the exhaust and steering will be sportier and gear changes will take 175 ms. Finally, in RACE mode, all the pulling power will be available at half-pedal, everything will be extra-sharp and changes will take place in 150 ms.

Finally, there’s the toys: the RS Monitor will be more modern and will have new information, while the new R link system launched with the Clio IV will have special sound from Renaultsport history, like F1 engines and the R5 GT.
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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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