Renault Clio RS 220 Trophy Laps Nurburgring in 8:23, Becomes the Prince of Hot Hatches

According to a press release sent out by the German division of Renault, the Clio RS 220 Trophy is the fastest small hot hatch in the world, after doing a blistering hot lap of the Nurburgring in 8 minutes and 23 seconds.
Renault Clio RS 220 Trophy 13 photos
Photo: Renault
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The regular RS 200 EDC had achieved a pedestrian time of 8:59 at the hands of Horst von Saurma a few years ago. Did 20 extra horsepower really shave 36 seconds? Of course not, as the car comes with a multitude of upgrades.

With its new lap record, the Clio RS Trophy is a little faster than a lot of old cars, such as the Evo 6, B6 Audi RS4, Aston Martin DB7 GT and the BMW X6 M. We don't consider the fact that the SLK 55 AMG is a second slower all that important either.

But, crucially, this achievement proves that Renault makes the most track-focused B-segment (sub-compact) production car.

The fast lap was set by a man going by the name of Christian Gebhardt, who is an editor for Sport Auto. He believes the limited slip diff (e-diff) and special sports suspension made all the difference in the world.

Additionally, the same magazine also tested all the major players in the hot supermini segment. Without that happening, we wouldn't be able to call the Clio No.1. MINI's John Cooper Works came second after the Renault, despite having a bigger engine with more power. It achieved a lap time of 8:35 minutes.

The brand new Opel Corsa OPC was third with a time of 8:40. The Opel is equipped with a sporty exhaust and a mechanical limited slip differential, but maybe the tuning wasn't perfect for this track. Last came Audi's S1, with a time of 8:41. This quattro car is the pig of this competition, so we're not surprised that it's slower on the track, just like the Golf R.

Neither the Ibiza Cupra nor the Polo GTI was benchmarked, but they lack the power and technology to set a benchmark time. Renault has a long history of making fast cars, especially in the small segment.

Many believed the old spirit was killed when engineers installed a twin-clutch gearbox, but the flame has been rekindled by this latest achievement.
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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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