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Sub-$30K price for new Renault Clio RS

Golden: The chic, five-door RS Clio 200 will be here just in time for Christmas - earlier than planned.

All-new Renault Sport Clio 200 to kick off from $28,790 and shirtfront VW Polo GTI


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11 Oct 2013

AUSTRALIAN Renault Sport fans are about to get an early Christmas present, with the RS Clio 200 hot hatch set to arrive here a few months earlier than expected – and priced from just $28,790.

Unexpectedly, and for the first time since 2010, the hottest Clio will be available with two chassis tunes: entry Sport and hardcore Cup.

The return of the Sport configuration has given Renault the opportunity to bring the RS Clio to market with an unexpected price parity with key rivals.

The starting price is a remarkable $7700 cheaper than the outgoing model, which retailed from $36,490. Renault is yet to reveal the price of the stiffer and lower Cup version.

The price difference widens further when you consider the previous RS was a three-door, manual-only car, while the new-generation model is a five-door, dual-clutch paddle-shifter automatic proposition.

The opening gambit pits the RS pocket rocket right among its arch-rivals, most notably the five-door DSG dual-clutch Volkswagen Polo GTI ($29,190). It also undercuts its French rival, the $29,990 three-door manual Peugeot 208 GTi.

Ford’s new Fiesta ST beats the Renault in price, at $25,990, but like the Peugeot is a three-door, manual-only option, and therefore not quite an ‘apples with apples’ comparison.

Renault Australia says it used its strong working relationship with the RS division in France to twist the factory’s arm into sending first deliveries Down Under by December this year rather than February 2014, and promises to deliver “huge bang for buck and shake up the competition”.

“We have been working very closely with our colleagues at Renault Sport and it is with great excitement that we have been able to bring forward the launch of the new Clio RS 200 EDC,” said Renault Australia managing director Justin Hocevar.

“Australia is currently the second highest selling country in the world for the award-winning Megane RS 265 and we are confident that the new Clio RS 200 EDC will bring more people to the Renault Sport family than ever before.” With 147kW of power and 250Nm of torque (between 1750 and 5600rpm) from its 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the RS Clio outguns all rivals bar the 208, which shares the same power output.

In Europe, the zero to 100km/h sprint time is listed as 6.7 seconds (0.2s faster than before), and combined-cycle fuel consumption is a claimed 6.3L/100km.

The standard EDC (efficient double clutch) transmission changes gears in a claimed 150 milliseconds when set to ‘race’ mode, and has paddle shifters mounted on the the steering column – a Renault first. The manual has been axed to reduce emissions, since the EDC is more frugal.

There are three driving modes – normal, sport and race – each of which modifies the engine and transmission mapping, ESC settings, steering feeling and throttle response.

RS additions to the normal Clio’s funky exterior include a Formula One-style front blade and a new diffuser and spoiler that respectively add 80 per cent and 20 per cent more downforce.

The production car will also come with a unique grille and rear spoiler, more aggressive front and rear bumpers, LED daytime running lights and 17-inch alloy wheels – blacked-out 18s will be an option – and dual tailpipes promised to add a “sporty sound signature”.

The cabin gets red highlights on the gearshifter, doors and seatbelts, drilled aluminium pedals, grippier sports bucket seats and a comprehensive list of equipment including touch-screen navigation – spelling the end to the sparse RS cabins of yesteryear.

GoAuto will get behind the wheel of the RS Clio for the first time on Australian roads in December. Click the linked story below to read our first overseas drive impressions from Granada.

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