Three weeks after pre-ordering of the New Clio Renaultsport 197 opened for registered members of the www.renaultsport.co.uk community before anyone else, your local Renault dealer is now able to take orders for what is undoubtedly the most eagerly awaited hot hatch of the year.

Due in showrooms in early July, first customer deliveries are planned for launch day, the 18th July – also the opening day of the British Motor Show at Excel in London. However, the first two customers to receive their cars will have them delivered to their homes as they are Renault F1 Team drivers Fernando Alonso, 2005 F.I.A. Formula One Drivers’ World Champion and team mate Giancarlo Fisichella!

Renault has a rich heritage in performance sport hot hatches, and Renault’s New Clio Renaultsport 197 is no exception. With best in class power, an impressive level of standard equipment, and excellent driving dynamics, the Clio Renaultsport 197, priced at £15,995, ensures it is a very worthy successor to its predecessors.

With a 2.0-litre engine producing 197hp at 7,250rpm and 215 Nm of torque at 5,550, a new six-speed gearbox, this results in 0-62mph in just 6.9 seconds and a top speed of 134mph, customers would need to go up a class and pay thousands more to find a car that matches New Clio Renaultsport 197’s performance, making the £15,995 price tag excellent value for money – in fact nothing for this price accelerates faster than the Clio 197.

For example in the supermini hot hatch class, the new Ford Fiesta ST and VW Polo GTi have only 150hp, the MINI Cooper S is just 170hp, whereas in the next class up, the Golf GTi is also 197hp but costs over £20,000.

New Clio Renaultsport 197 has a combined mpg of 31.7 and CO2 emissions of 209 g/km.

F1 Drivers Alonso and Fisichella will appreciate the F1 derived aerodynamic aids that debut on the Clio Renaultsport 197 for the first time on a hot hatch. With the groundbreaking air diffuser incorporated into the rear bumper, it not only makes a striking visual impact but also a technological one on the car’s stability.

Previously only seen on range-topping high-priced sports cars, the New Clio Renaultsport 197’s air diffuser reduces rear-end lift and maintains stability at high speeds by channelling air flow to increase the suction effect, almost like gluing the car to the road. The radius of the diffuser’s curve is engineered to create a zone of low pressure beneath the car which adds to the suction of the car to the ground.

For optimal stability, the system reduces lift by a factor of three and produces the equivalent of up to 40kg of rear downforce without detracting from the car’s carefully honed aerodynamics which are designed to achieve a low CdA. This means that the rear air diffuser generates such downforce that it eliminates the need for a rear spoiler which would normally counter the lift.

Even the location of the twin exhausts is critical to the car’s performance showing the thought that has gone into the design of the car. The flush-fitted dual exhausts are housed within the outer channels of the diffuser so as not to interfere with the aerodynamics and to maximise its effectiveness.

The front of the car’s dynamic and sporty looks are enhanced by the Renaultsport extended front wings with integrated side air extractors, which also come as standard on the New Clio Renaultsport 197 as does extended rear wings and sills.

As well as adding to the car’s striking exterior, the front wing extractors also have an aerodynamic function reducing turbulence to optimise the car’s drag co-efficient. The hot air and flow from under the bonnet of the car is facilitated by the extractor vents, whilst also directing air flow along the sides of the car at the same time, enhancing performance even further helping ensure New Clio Renaultsport 197’s best in class power and 0-62mph figure.