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Renault reveals race-bred Clio RS tech

In the pits: Renault has fitted rally style shock absorbers and F1 inspired gear-shift to the new Clio RS hot hatch.

Next-gen Renault Clio RS to be more user-friendly but has more track-weapon tech


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15 Feb 2013

THE new-generation Renault Clio RS hot hatch will come with a raft of race-bred technology including rally-style two-stage suspension dampers, launch control, a dual-clutch transmission that can down-change through multiple gears at once and on-board telemetry.

Renault has confirmed the new Clio RS – scheduled for Australian release early next year – can complete the sprint from rest to 100km/h in 6.7 seconds, two tenths quicker than the outgoing model.

An official European combined fuel consumption figure of 6.3 litres of per 100 kilometres represents an almost 25 per cent (or 2L/100km) reduction in thirst.

Helping extract more performance from less fuel is a 36kg weight loss – to 1204kg – and the new 149kW/240Nm downsized 1.6-litre turbo-petrol engine that develops an extra 2kW of power, 25Nm more torque and is less peaky compared with the current naturally aspirated 2.0-litre mill.

Electronic driving mode systems are designed to make the new Clio RS more usable as daily transport yet even more capable on a mountain pass or race track.

With the hardcore Race mode selected, the stability and traction control are fully disabled and the standard six-speed dual-clutch transmission becomes fully manual, with shift times reduced to 150 milliseconds.

Both Race mode and the intermediate Sport mode also increase the engine’s idle speed from 750rpm to 1005rpm, sharpen the car’s response to driver inputs, elicits a harder-edged engine note and firms up the steering.

Drivers also benefit from an audible up-shift warning before the engine hits the rev limiter.

Renault claims the Clio RS is the first non-supercar with a transmission that can change down through multiple ratios at once (when the paddle-shifter is held down).

The Clio RS is also said to be the first production car to feature hydraulic compression stops in the shock absorbers, improveing ride comfort without compromising performance and preventing the suspension from bottoming out harshly by employing a second damper within the main unit.

A RenaultSport patented electronic differential limits understeer during hard cornering by measuring the speed difference between the driven front wheels and comparing that against rear-wheel speed to detect and predict a loss of traction, then subtly braking the wheel that is about to lose grip without reducing the amount of power sent to that wheel.

Renault says the system is “progressive and barely perceptible”, intervening before the stability or traction control and avoiding frustrating the driver by suddenly reducing torque.

Those wanting even more from their Clio RS can opt for the Cup chassis upgrade that lowers the ride height by 3mm, with 15 per cent stiffer springs, a quicker steering rack and sticky Dunlop Sport Maxx tyres on gloss black 18-inch alloy wheels.

In Europe, the Clio RS will come standard with a seven-inch touch-screen infotainment system featuring sat-nav, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, sports seats and a ‘sound pipe’ that transmits an evocative engine note into the cabin.

The tablet-like screen also hosts the latest RS Monitor telemetry system with real-time torque, G-force, lap time and acceleration data.

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