Fans of the hot hatch faced a winter of discontent last year when the undisputed class-leading Clio Renaultsport 182 ceased production to make way for the much-acclaimed all-New Clio.
Well the good news is the wait for its successor is already over – only six months after the launch of the New Clio as the Clio Renaultsport 197 is now available to order prior to its launch day of 18th July – the opening day of the British Motor Show.
Ordering opens on Monday 8th May exclusively for registered members of the RenaultSport.co.uk community before anyone else, priced at £15,995 and an insurance group of 15E.
This has not been the normal two or three year wait for the hot version while the engineers set to work modifying the standard car because at Renault, they have a separate company, Renault Sport Technologies, who develop all the high performance road and race track cars. They have been developing the Clio Renaultsport 197 side-by-side with the normal model for the last three-years.
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, the Clio Renaultsport 197 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.
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.
As a special acknowledgement to their loyalty and devotion to the Renaultsport brand, customers who have registered with RenaultSport.co.uk, the website for Renault hot hatch fans to get the latest information and share discussions in the community forums, will be given the exclusive opportunity to be the first to order their New Clio Renaultsport 197 online from Monday 8th May 2006 before ordering officially opens to everyone on 30th May.
This allows registered members to reserve their slot in production meaning they will be the lucky first UK customers to take delivery of New Clio Renaultsport 197 from July.
There’s no doubting the New Clio Renaultsport 197’s vigorous performance, tenacious road-holding and refinement, and its exterior and interior styling makes it obvious that this is a car to have fun in.
New Clio Renaultsport 197’s long list of standard features include specific Renaultsport sports seats with extra lateral support, height and reach adjustable Renaultsport leather steering wheel with stitched red centreband and soft touch carbon dashboard with satin chrome instrument dial surrounds and interior door handles and drilled aluminium pedals.
On the outside an extended front spoiler, wider wheel arches to accommodate 17″ Renaultsport alloy wheels and the latest 215/40 Continental Sport Contact 3 tyres, while body-coloured electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors (with driver’s blind spot eliminating) are also standard and add to the New Clio Renaultsport 197’s striking, sporty looks.
There are five colours available on New Clio Renaultsport 197, three metallic and two non-metallic. There are three new colours to the range, Ultra Red (non-metallic), Deep Black and Albi Blue (metallic illusion). The non-metallic Racing Blue and metallic illusion Nimbus completes the colour choice.
New Clio Renaultsport 197 ensures driving passion and pleasure with its top performance, road-handling and sporty good looks, and its many standard features also mean you can travel in comfort too.
Air conditioning, height adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar adjustment, reach and rake adjustable steering wheel, electric windows with driver one touch control, cruise control, speed limiter, variable assisted power steering and 60:40 split folding rear seat all come as standard on New Clio Renaultsport 197.
Additional standard equipment includes the practical Renault hands free Key Card for unlocking and ignition, multi-function trip computer, 30W RDS radio CD with fingertip remote control and removable smoker pack.
Renault is renowned for its safety as the only manufacturer to have eight cars to have achieved the maximum five-stars in independent crash tests by Euro NCAP.
As well as Formula 1 technology, New Clio Renaultsport 197 also benefits from Renault’s safety expertise with no less than eight airbags as standard.
Driver and front passenger airbags, front lateral airbags, curtain airbags and anti-submarining airbags in the base of the front seat cushion, all come as standard as well as ABS with EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution), ESP with disconnection function for when owners take to the race track, new generation height adjustable front headrests, two height adjustable three point front seatbelts with integrated pretensioners and load limiters, three height adjustable rear head rests, ISOFIX child seat mounting points on front passenger seat and outer rear seats with front passenger airbag deactivation and three point rear seatbelts with integrated pretensioners and load limiters.
Helping to keep your vehicle safe and secure is the insurance approved engine immobiliser (Thatcham category 2), insurance approved alarm system, (Thatcham category 1), remote central locking with deadlocking and RAID (Renault Anti Intruder Device) which automatically locks the doors when travelling above 5mph.
With two consecutive wins in the first two races of the 2006 FIA Formula One World Championship, Renault F1 Team is off to a flying start of its title defence giving a perfect demonstration of Renault’s engine and technology expertise.
Now some of that knowledge has been translated into the New Clio Renaultsport 197 with the groundbreaking air diffuser incorporated into the rear bumper – never before seen in this segment – which is derived from Formula 1 aerodynamics.
The rear air diffuser 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 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.
Derived from that of Mégane Renaultsport 225, New Clio Renaultsport 197’s braking system ensures effective, durable stopping power, plus progressive, easy-to-dose pedal travel. The system comprises 312mm-diameter ventilated front discs with Brembo four-pot callipers and 300mm diameter discs at the rear.