Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 10th July 2010: For several years, the Renaultsport-badged version of the brand’s global best-selling hatchback have been unanimously acclaimed by the automotive press and enthusiasts as one of the best performance hatches in the segment, and definitely one of the most fun to drive. Top Gear magazine in the UK agreed by awarding Renaultsport as its 2009 ‘Manufacturer of the Year’.
After ‘testing the water’ by making a handful of the previous 2009 and 2010 ‘Clio Renaultsport 197’ and ‘Clio Renaultsport F1 Team R27s available in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, Arabian Automobiles’ Renault division is launching the latest 2011MY Clio Renaultsport 200 version which it is making available in a highly specified and highly desirable version at the attractive launch price of AED84, 000. At this price, the Clio Renaultsport 200 is set to give other larger ‘C segment’ hot hatches an incredibly hard time in the marketplace thanks to its enviable reputation as a hot hatch favorite.
This pedigree Renault Sport model offered by Arabian Automobiles targets customers looking for a comfortable, well-equipped sporting hatchback that also offers a dazzling blend of aggressive looks, performance and handling. The Clio Renaultsport 200 boasts the same ingredients that have forged the success of its predecessors, such as:
• Formula 1-derived aerodynamics, including front-wing air-extractors, a rear diffuser and a front splitter, all of which are unique to the performance hatchback class
• Independent steering axis front suspension for advanced handling precision and traction in all conditions, unique to the ‘B segment’
• Fade resistant braking performance, thanks to standard Brembo front brake calipers
• A new specification of the 2.0 16V DOHC engine: Renault Sport-level response and power (203hp net) combined with moderate fuel consumption
• Manufactured at the famous Alpine factory in Dieppe, France
Since 2000, the successive variants of Clio Renaultsport have led to it becoming the best-selling performance hatchback of its class, with worldwide sales totaling more than 70,000 cars. The strengths of the Renault Sport’s Clio’s chassis, brakes and steering combined with the precision of its gearbox have resulted in the model being widely praised as the most efficient in its class by the media and exacting owners alike.
Exterior styling: a powerful stance
The previous Clio Renaultsport’s original lines have been revised with the accent on more athletic, telltale curves. The more aggressive front end incorporates an F1-type aerodynamic splitter and a generously-sized, low-positioned air intake, the mission of which is to cool the naturally-aspirated 2.0 16V engine. The sills, extractors and wider front and rear wings all serve to highlight the sporty signature of the Clio Renaultsport 200 which features Renaultsport’s new styling identity cues which include as standard in the Dubai market a Gloss Black finish for the front bumper moldings and splitter, exterior mirror housings and rear diffuser. At the rear, the twin exhaust tailpipes have been incorporated into the diffuser. The car sits squarely on the road thanks to its wide tyres (215/45) mounted on standard Speedline 17×7.5 inch aluminium alloy rims (a cost option in other global markets), through which it is possible to see the front Brembo brake callipers and big discs that deliver powerful, durable stopping power. Renault Sport badging is visible on the tailgate, on the side protective moldings’ satin-finish chrome inserts, as well as on the engine intake manifold. Arabian Automobiles is offering the Clio Renaultsport 200 in three colors – White, Black and Red and, at a premium, Renault Sport’s signature ‘Liquid Yellow’ pearlescent paint finish. Other colors are available on a special order basis.
Aerodynamics derived from Formula 1 technology
Aerodynamic features include a front splitter, front-wing air-extractors and a rear diffuser, a unique feature in this segment. Compared with the new version’s predecessor, the
CdA (overall coefficient of drag) has been cut by 0.02 to 0.75. The extractor ducts visible on the front wings contribute to the car’s aerodynamic performance by neutralizing the turbulence produced by the wider wings and play a part in improving the model’s CdA. They also facilitate the extraction of hot air from underneath the bonnet, while the vents are angled to channel airflow along the sides of the car for enhanced performance. The most significant single technological innovation is the rear air diffuser. This aerodynamic feature carried over from developments in F1 racing prevents the rear of the car from lifting and guarantees stability at high speed by channeling airflow in such a way that it increases ground effect down force by producing a low pressure zone beneath the car.
Sporty interior appointments
The car’s sporting pedigree is confirmed by details such as the aluminium pedal covers and
footrest, as well as by the perforated leather steering wheel with visible stitching and yellow centre point marker. The yellow rev-counter includes an audible and visible Formula 1-style gearshift indicator to help optimize gear change points as the engine rev limiter is approached.
Reclining Recaro bucket seats, designed and developed especially for Renault Sport are also standard fit in this market (where they are only available as a cost option in others). They are equipped with lateral airbags, plus a rigid, glass-fibre/polyamide-injected shell which provides the sort of all-enveloping experience normally associated with motor sport racing seats. The slots for racing-type harness belts and the integrated headrest add a further sporty note, while at the same time serving to hold occupants firmly in place during spirited driving. As with all the models developed by Renault Sport Technologies, Renault Sport badging is visible inside the cabin on the rev-counter background, sills and front seats.
A punchy 4 x 20W radio CD MP3 reader sound system with 4 speakers and 2 tweeters also includes an RCA socket in front of the gear lever for connecting MP3 players.
High performance suspension
Compared with a standard Renault Clio, the new Clio Renaultsport 200’s grip and cornering potential have been upgraded, with the front and rear track measurements widened by 48mm and
50mm respectively. The wheelbase has also been extended by 10mm to 2,585mm for greater stability, while the front suspension’s independent steering axis layout is unique to the ‘B segment’. To minimize weight, this technology employs aluminium components and guarantees precise handling and outstanding traction whatever the conditions. Driving pleasure is further enhanced by the responsive front end which is resolutely resistant to torque steer, both through tight corners and along straights. The rear suspension features a reinforced programmed deflection torsion beam which complements the efficiency of the front end’s independent steering axis system to ensure precise, immediate turn-in response. Electric variable power-assisted steering is slightly recalibrated to give more feel than the previous generation car and with only 2.83 turns lock to lock, is nicely direct.
A sporty chassis with efficiency and comfort
One chassis setting has been homologated for sale in the GCC markets. The ‘Sport’ chassis fitted as standard to the Clio Renaultsport 200 strikes the ideal balance between performance and comfort. The stub axles have been lengthened to increase the rear track, and new double-effect damper technology allows a more comfortable ride with the energy needed to be dissipated in bounce and rebound being partly absorbed by an additional level of damper valving. The performance of these new dampers is particularly appreciable on longer journeys and motorway drives. Meanwhile, body movement is kept in check thanks to a bigger diameter 21mm front anti-roll bar. Compared with a standard Clio, the stiffness of the rear suspension has been uprated by 25 per cent thanks to the fitment of a 30mm-diameter rear anti-roll bar. Specifically-developed Continental Sport Contact 3 tyres (215/45 R17) ensure swifter, more precise steering response, while their rolling resistance is five per cent lower compared with the previous generation Clio Renaultsport. The matt black 17inch Speedline aluminium alloy wheels are each 1kg lighter and the gain in terms of reduced inertia further contributes to the enhanced steering response and crisp acceleration.
Braking performance is of particular efficiency. Large 312x28mm front discs with Brembo 4 piston calipers and rear 300x11mm discs provide reassuring and fade resistant braking capability. Bosch 8.0 ABS is standard as is ESP with ‘understeer control’ software and ABS with EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution). The ESP system can be switched off by the driver if required.
A sporty, normally-aspirated engine with a specific power output of more than 100hp/litre
Power comes from the latest generation of Renault Sport’s normally-aspirated 2.0-litre (1998cc) DOHC 16V engine (dubbed the ‘F4R RS’). With a specific power output of more than 100hp/litre, this powerplant delivers an extremely high level of performance for the hot hatch segment. In addition to the gains achieved at low revs, peak power has been increased by 2.5kW to 147.5kW (203hp net) at 7,100rpm.
Meanwhile, the engine’s torque output has been upped 20 per cent compared to the previous generation thanks to a new cylinder head, continuously variable intake valve
timing and fine-tuning of the engine mapping. The first, second and third gear ratios have all been shortened for punchier acceleration and for spritely pick up when driving in urban areas. This engine drives through a manual six-speed gearbox (a ‘TL4’) and develops maximum torque of 215Nm at 5,400rpm (compared with 5,500rpm for the previous generation car).
Acceleration from standstill to 100kph is achieved in just 6.9 seconds with the 1000m (1 km) standing start dispatched in 27.3s. The top speed of 225kph is 10kph higher compared with that of the previous version.
An important illustration of the high standard of work that has gone into this powertrain is the fact that its fuel consumption has been reduced by 0.7 litres/100km (equivalent to 14g of CO2/km) compared with the former version launched in other markets in June 2006. Combined cycle fuel consumption stands at a reasonable 8.2 litres/100km with emissions of 195g of CO2/km.
A safe very hatchback
In day-to-day use, occupants will particularly appreciate the spacious cabin and generous boot space, two hallmarks of the Renault Clio. The Clio Renaultsport 200 is equipped with the third-generation Renault System for Restraint and Protection (SRP3). Like Clio III, which obtained a five-star EuroNCAP crash test rating in 2005, it is engineered to provide uncompromising protection for all occupants. Driver and front passenger two stage adaptive airbags are standard as are front seat lateral airbags. For easy fixing of rear child seats, ISOFIX points are fitted on the outer rear seating positions.
In the Dubai and Northern Emirates market Arabian Automobiles is extremely confident there is currently no comparable vehicle that can match the Clio Renaultsport 200’s ‘Performance-Per-Dirham’ factor. For sure there are other excellent and well regarded hot hatches in the bigger ‘C segment’ class but these cost many tens of thousands of Dirhams more and yet offer very similar levels of performance but arguably less satisfying driving characteristics.
Arabian Automobiles is launching the Clio Renaultsport 200 for AED84, 000. The only available option on the car is a very special coat of Renaultsport’s signature pearlescent paint – ‘Liquid Yellow’.
Clio Renaultsport 200 comes with Renault’s factory warranty of 3 years or 100,000 kms (whichever comes first) and must be supported by a full Renault approved dealer service history. Service intervals on the Clio Renaultsport 200 are every 10,000kms. The car is available now at the Renault’s Dubai showrooms at Sheikh Zayed Road and Al Qiyada.