RenaultSport Giving Up On Manual Transmissions?

Renault Clio RS 200 EDC 1 photo
Photo: Renault
Some people say that once you've tried a really good automatic, you'll never go back to shifting gears yourself, while others say they want the pure feel of rowing a mechanical stick through the cogs.
However, with the increased economy afforded by the latest automated boxes and the speed at which they shift, the writing may be on the wall.

RenaultSport is likely to shift its focus from or even ditch manual gearboxes altogether, as we can see from the recently launched new Renault Clio RS, the MkIV model. The car is powered by a 200 HP 1.6-liter turbo engine coupled to a six-speed EDC dual-clutch unit, and left behind the six-speed manual transmission.

Christopher Deville, the company’s head of public relations, claimed that the reason for ditching the manual transmission in the Clio RS was that the car was not compliant with the standards of today’s hot-hatches. By installing an automatic dual-clutch transmission the Clio RS will shift faster (150 ms in race mode), thus improving track and straight-line performance.

It was a necessary upgrade, since VW has been offering DSG on the Polo GTI for many years. While the Clio RS was always considered the performance benchmark, because the Polo was more efficient and technologically advanced, it sold very well.

Another reason for going automatic, is the fact that Renault Sport has increased overseas sales.

The way we see it, the Megane RS still has a chance of offering a manual option, but the Twingo RS is "doomed" judging by the Clio GT that likely previews its powertrain.

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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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