Renault – New Clio 3 Sport

Category: Renault, Renault Clio
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Renault Clio3 South Africa Auto Show4

The hot hatch with passion and driving pleasure

New Clio Renault Sport combines high technology, high performance and range-topping features. The challenge faced by Renault Sport Technologies’ engineers when first penning New Clio Renault Sport was to respect the individual personality of Clio 3, while at the same time highlighting the newcomer’s inherent qualities and dynamism. The result is an exceptional car which puts the accent firmly on performance, passion and driving pleasure.

New Clio Renault Sport stands out as a worthy successor to Clio Renault Sport 2.0 16V and benefits directly from Renault’s presence in Formula 1 in the form of a rear air diffuser, a ground-breaking first in this segment and directly derived from motor racing’s premier championship. In association with the front wing extractor vents, this feature guarantees outstanding aerodynamic performance.

Sportier than ever, New Clio Renault Sport is powered by an evolution of the CLIO RENAULT SPORT normally-aspirated 2.0 16V engine, whose power has been increased to 197hp. This is equivalent to 100hp/litre, making it the highest specific power output of its category. This has been achieved thanks notably to an increase in its volumetric efficiency which has not only resulted in extra power but has also taken torque to a best-in-class 215Nm at 5,550rpm for genuine driving pleasure in day-to-day use. Coupled with a closer ratio six-speed gearbox featuring shorter gears, this powerful, responsive engine offers first-class sports performance and driving pleasure.

Another key feature is the double-axis strut system which provides rigorously precise handling and perfect balance. Derived from Mégane Renault Sport, New Clio Renault Sport’s brakes and Brembo callipers ensure powerful, durable stopping power.

Punchy looks

The sporty character of New Clio Renault Sport is unmistakably echoed by its design, both inside and out. The revised body design accentuates Clio 3’s inherent racy, muscular lines.

Designed for performance

Clio 3’s distinctive, original lines have been further enhanced by the use of more athletic curves, while New Clio Renault Sport’s specific side design exudes extra power and energy. The wider front and rear wings, profiled side skirts and semi-rigid under-bumper splitter combine with the extractor vents and diffuser to assert the new car’s advanced aerodynamic engineering and sports heritage.

New Clio Renault Sport comes with large tyres (215/45) and 17-inch light alloy wheels which barely conceal the Brembo brake callipers and big discs that ensure powerful and durable stopping performance. The powerful, normally-aspirated 2.0 16V engine has necessitated wide, bumper-mounted air intakes for improved engine cooling.

The front and rear bumpers, side protective mouldings and exterior mirrors are all body-coloured, while the door handles are in satin-finish chrome.

Styling modifications

New Clio Renault Sport features specific bodywork, including larger front wings (+42mm) designed to house the wider track and generously-dimensioned tyres. A specific side design was developed to offer an additional 28 mm left and right and incorporate the new dimensions of the rear suspension. The standard Clio III floor – which incorporates a well for the spare wheel – has been replaced by a flat panel designed to free up space for the exhaust silencer and twin-rear tailpipes.

Sporty interior

New Clio Renault Sport’s interior trim echoes the car’s exterior styling. The drive station has been designed for driving pleasure, and the “drive it” spirit is immediately apparent in details like the aluminium pedals and perforated-leather steering wheel with red centre-point stitching. For added comfort and efficiency, the design of the steering wheel itself ensures perfect grip for the hands. Designed and positioned for optimal clarity, the instruments feature white data on a black background. The rev counter incorporates a gear-change indicator light, while the size of the figures increases as the needle gets closer to the red zone which begins at 7,500rpm.

Perfectly in keeping with the vehicle’s sporty interior ambience, they are trimmed with “Entresol” upholstery in harmony with the rear bench seat. In addition to housing lateral airbags, these seats feature a rigid, polyamide and fibreglass-injected shell for the quality of ride normally associated with competition driving. The seatbelt slots and built-in headrest add the final, distinctive sports touch. The overriding dark charcoal colour scheme is offset by the chrome-zinc centre console and dashboard inserts which echo technology and sports performance.

Specially designed Renault Sport seats ensure outstanding comfort and effective lateral support which enable the driver to feel totally at one with his or her machine, while the metallic grey seatbelts are in perfect harmony with the new dark charcoal and metallic black “Entresol” upholstery. As with all Renault Sport Technologies-developed models, the exclusive “Renault Sport” logo appears on the instrument backgrounds, on the door sill and on the front seats. “Renault Sport” badging is also visible on the outside; on the hatch and on the satin-finish chrome side moulding inserts.

Aerodynamics derived from Formula 1 technology

New Clio Renault Sport is the only car of its segment to feature a rear air diffuser. Extensive development work has gone into New Clio Renault Sport’s aerodynamics, which feature front wing extractor vents and a rear air diffuser, a first for this class of vehicle.

The purpose of the diffuser is to prevent rear-end lift and maintain stability at high speed. Both visually and technologically, New Clio Renault Sport’s most striking technological innovation lies in the design of the rear bumper which incorporates an air diffuser. Derived from Formula 1, this feature has only ever previously been seen on range-topping, high-priced sports cars. The diffuser’s purpose is to prevent rear-end lift and maintain stability at high speed by channelling air flow in such a way to increase the suction effect.

The radius of the diffuser’s curve is engineered to create a zone of low pressure beneath the car - the down force generated by the diffuser means there is no need for a rear spoiler to counter the phenomenon of lift. For optimal stability, the system reduces lift by a factor of three and produces the equivalent of 40kg of rear down force on motorways and up to 70kg on circuit without detracting from the car’s carefully honed aerodynamics designed to achieve a low CdA.

To maximize the diffuser’s effectiveness, the flush-fitted dual exhausts are housed within the outer channels. Positioned in this way, they do not interfere with the efficiency of the aerodynamics.

Extractor vents for optimized performance

The front wing extractor vents also have an aerodynamic function by reducing turbulence to optimize the car’s drag coefficient. The extractor vents facilitate both the flow and hot air from under the bonnet. At the same time, the vents direct air flow along the sides of the car to further enhance performance.

A chassis engineered for high performance

New Clio Renault Sport’s exacting, balanced sports handling combines driving pleasure at speed with advanced safety. The dimensions of its chassis have been modified compared with those of Clio III, including a longer wheelbase and wider front and rear tracks. New Renault Clio Sport also comes with a double-axis strut system which features aluminium components for even greater precision.

New Clio Renault Sport’s suspension ensures outstanding dynamic performance. For enhanced stability, the wheelbase of New Clio Renault Sport has been extended by 10mm compared with Clio 3 to 2,585mm thanks to the introduction of a double-axis strut system. Grip and cornering  performance have been optimized thanks to the new car’s wider front and rear track, which have been extended by 48 and 50mm respectively in comparison with Clio III.

Innovative front suspension, strengthened rear suspension

New Clio 3 Renault Sport comes with a new-design double-axis strut system featuring aluminium parts with a view to optimizing its weight. This technology guarantees precision and optimal traction in all situations. Driving pleasure is further enhanced by the car’s incisive front end which is insensitive to torque-steer, whether in the middle of a tight turn or in a straight line.

Derived from Clio 3, the programmed deflection, torsion beam rear suspension has been strengthened to match the potential of the double-axis strut system and to ensure precise, immediate response when turning into corners. The stiffness of the sports version’s rear suspension has been up rated by 25% thanks to a 30mm (an increase of 10mm) anti-roll bar. The new concept, single-piece stub axles feature reinforced bearings and have been lengthened in order to widen the rear track. Their diameter has also been increased by 5mm to 30mm (instead of 25mm in the case of Clio 3).

A nimble, responsive chassis for even greater driving pleasure

The suspension of New Clio 3 Renault Sport ensures a first-class compromise between efficiency and filtering performance. Front and rear shock absorbers feature specific valving developed to optimize body control. Meanwhile, the stiffness of the front and rear springs and the use of polyurethane bump stops favour positive car control on very rough roads. The sub frame is the same as that used for Mégane Renault Sport and includes transverse strengthening for improved front-end rigidity. The front sub frame bushes and rear suspension mountings are also stiffer, as are the upper front shock absorber mountings. All these features combine to favour feedback to the driver as well as a heightened sense of precision at the wheel. The calibration parameters of the electric power steering is specific to New Clio Renault Sport, while the model’s Continental Sport Contact 3 tyres (215/45 R17) also contribute to the suspension’s excellent directional stability.

Renault Clio3 South Africa Auto Show

A specific power output of 100hp/litre

The dynamic qualities of New Clio 3 Renault Sport mean the normally-aspirated 2.0 16V engine – designed by Renault Sport Technologies in association with Renault’s Power train Engineering Department – can be exploited to the full. Coupled with a six-speed gearbox, this responsive (215Nm at 5,550rpm) and powerful (197hp [145kW] at 7,250rpm) power plant provides top-class sports performance and driving pleasure. New Clio Renault Sport’s normally-aspirated 2.0 16V engine delivers 100hp per litre. New Clio Renault Sport is powered by the F4R RS normally-aspirated 2.0 16V engine which delivers 197hp at 7,250rpm and maximum torque of 215Nm at 5,550rpm. Based on the engine which forged the reputation of Clio 2 Renault Sport 182 2.0 16V, it boasts a specific power output of 100hp per litre which ensures exceptional performance for New Clio Renault Sport in the hot hatch segment. The normally-aspirated engine combines performance, dynamism, flexibility, immediate response and excellent re-acceleration from all engine speeds. It is also easier to adapt for competition use in derivatives such as the Clio Group N and Clio Cup One-make race versions.

Driving pleasure and acoustic comfort

Renault Sport Technologies’ engineers have sought to achieve a signature engine sound in keeping with New Clio Renault Sport’s sports pedigree. From a discreet pitch at low revs, the engine begins to give a glimpse of its promise at mid engine speeds before producing a hallmark bark when pushed to the limit. Meanwhile, the reinforced sub frame and specific floor minimize boom thanks to special surface soundproofing treatment that reduces the radiation of noise from the exhaust. The 3Y-type exhaust manifold also offers an excellent compromise between acoustic performance, power and low emissions.

A six-speed gearbox designed for performance

New Clio 3 Renault Sport comes with an evolution of the TL4 six-speed gearbox, the first Alliance-developed manual transmission which is capable of handling up to 240Nm (24.5mkg). This precision, close-ratio gearbox features specific gearing to favour acceleration from all intermediate engine speeds.

Acceleration from standstill to 100kph requires a mere 6.9 seconds, while the kilometre standing start is covered in just 27.5 seconds. Top speed is 215kph, restricted to 7,000rpm. With a combined cycle fuel consumption of 8.9l/100km (209g of CO2/km), New Clio Renault Sport’s fuel consumption is amongst the lowest of the hot hatch segment for cars of comparable power output.

No compromise on safety

Like Clio 3, which was awarded a five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating, the focus during New Clio Renault Sport’s development was as much on excellence in terms of safety as it was on performance. The new car has benefited from Renault’s acclaimed expertise in the domain to emerge as a passive safety benchmark in the hot hatch segment. New Clio Renault Sport features Renault’s third-generation System for Restraint and Protection which guarantees optimal protection for all occupants wherever they are sitting in the car.

Active safety: a development priority

Like design and sports performance, active safety played a central role in the development of New Clio 3 Renault Sport. In addition to the quality of its chassis, the car features the latest-evolution driver aids and is equipped as standard with Generation 8 Bosch ABS complete with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD). New Clio Renault Sport also comes with ESP which has been reprogrammed to higher limits and can be disconnected. Its operation is adapted to the sort of dynamic driving style associated with this type of car, while at the same time contributing to a high degree of active safety. The ESP system comes complete with ASR traction control to assist starting and accelerating when grip is at a premium.

Passive safety: uncompromising protection for all passengers

New Clio 3 Renault Sport features the third-generation Renault System for Restraint and Protection which guarantees optimal protection for all occupants wherever they are sitting. The extremely rigid cabin forms an in deformable structure which acts as a survival cell for passengers and combats against the intrusion of front-end components. These, in turn, are designed to stack up under impact.

Both front seatbelts of New Clio 3 Renault Sport are equipped with pyrotechnic pre-tensioners for optimal body restraint under impact, plus built-in load limiters calibrated at 400daN for enhanced thorax protection. To protect the pelvic region and to combat submarining, the front seat cushions come with built-in anti-submarining airbags. The standard versions of New Clio 3 Renault Sport are equipped with eight airbags as standard: two controlled-deflation adaptive front airbags, four lateral airbags and two anti-submarining airbags (fitted in the base of the front seats). In the event of side impact, and in addition to the lateral airbags (thorax airbags built into the front seats, plus curtain airbags to protect the heads of front and rear passengers), New Clio 3 Renault Sport comes with spacers and padding in the door panels. It also features an aluminium bar (a first inaugurated on Clio 3) that adapts the load exerted upon impact to ensure that occupants are afforded the most effective protection possible.

In the event of rear impact, New Clio 3 Renault Sport is equipped with rear impact energy-absorbing front seats and headrests. This new technology marks a significant breakthrough when it comes to protecting the neck against the effects of whiplash.
When adjusting its height, it’s the headrest itself which slides inside the seat back and not the rods. Since the latter no longer form a rigid element inside the seatback, the occupant’s back can, under impact, push further back into the seat until his or her head comes into contact with the headrest. The rear bench seat comes with three integrated headrests, while the seat itself and its anchorage points are reinforced with a view to limiting reclining of the seat back under impact.

A hot hatch success story

New Clio 3 Renault Sport is in perfect keeping with the Renault tradition of hot hatches and successive generations of sporty Clio’s. It is assembled in Dieppe.

The objective of Clio 3 Renault Sport was twofold: to serve as a flagship for the Clio range and to appeal to a male clientele. In the course of the past six years, it has overwhelmingly met both these targets. Based on Clio 3, New Clio 3 Renault Sport will seek to continue the Renault Sport brand’s success in the Clio range, while at the same time broadening the Renault brand's worldwide appeal. It will be launched in early 2007 in South Africa.

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