The Geneva Motor Show sees Renault take the wraps off the latest Hatch and Sport Tourer versions of the best-selling Clio. Clio 2009’s styling, comfort, versatility, safety credentials and equipment, which form a package worthy of that of models from the next segment up, are sure to appeal to a large, loyal customer base worldwide. At the same time, its excellent build quality makes it one of the most reliable cars of its class.
In response to customer demand, Clio 2009 features:
- renewed styling, incorporating the same dynamic cues as those which have become the hallmarks of New Mégane’s front end,
- three performance versions, namely GT, Renaultsport 200 Cup and Renaultsport 200. The new GT version combines genuine character with real driving pleasure thanks to its specific suspension and high performance engines,
- Carminat TomTom®, the first fully-integrated GPS navigation system to market for less than €500. This is Renault’s latest GPS navigation system and is the fruit of an exclusive partnership between Renault and TomTom. Ready to run in an instant and easy to use, it gives the Clio 2009 range an advanced, affordable navigation system which incorporates:
- a 5.8-inch (14.7cm) colour screen which is bigger than that of removable systems for the clear display of precise, detailed maps, including ‘birdview’ display
- accurate directions, including traffic information, speed restrictions and speed camera location alerts.
Clio 2009 capitalises on the same strengths that have seen Clio emerge as the benchmark in its class with sales of more than 10 million units worldwide since 1990, and which saw it take the “Car Of The Year” award in 2006.
The new model delivers:
- a full package of talents, including a roomy interior, great comfort and excellent handling,
- comprehensive range of powerplants that combine driving pleasure with respect for the environment. These include the TCe 100, the dCi 86 and the dCi 106. Four of the engines in the 2009 range allow the model to comply with the three criteria necessary to qualify for the Renault eco² signature.
- The availability of equipment from the next segment up: including hands-free card, cruise control and a speed limiter.
- outstanding active and passive safety credentials. Clio III Hatchback scored a maximum five-star rating in the crash tests carried out by the independent body EuroNCAP at the time of its release in 2005,
- acclaimed quality and reliability.
New Renault Clio will be released in the UK in May.
EXTERIOR STYLING CUES SHARED WITH NEW RENAULT MÉGANE
From the outset, Renault’s Corporate Design Department worked closely with the project engineers to incorporate the brand’s new styling identity. Clio 2009 sits squarely on the road and features more streamlined lines thanks to its extended length (4,027mm; 41mm longer than Clio III), while the contours of its headlamps extend downward to meet the outer parts of the grille. The dynamic front bumper design incorporates a broad air intake which is picked out with matt black protective mouldings. The steeply-raked ‘soft’ nose is flanked by the foglamps and gives the new hatchback a determined gaze, while the two-tone exterior mirror housings stand out through their sleeker forms. At the rear, the waistline is extended by new light clusters, and the more dynamic feel of Clio 2009 is further emphasised by the revised bumper, as well as by the reversing lights and rear fog lights which are situated lower down and closer to the car’s sides.
A WIDE CHOICE OF SPORTING VERSIONS
From launch, the Clio 2009 range will feature a line-up of three performance versions: GT, Renaultsport 200 Cup and Renaultsport 200.
Clio GT: as is the case with other Renault models, the GT version is based on the three-door hatchback. The combination of its racy looks, specific suspension and high performance, yet efficient engines make it an ideal balance between running costs and driving pleasure
Clio Renaultsport Cup 200 and Renaultsport 200: Clio Renaultsport packs even more exclusive, efficient performance. The Renaultsport 200 features a revised sport chassis for customers looking for a comfortable and extensively equipped performance hatchback, while for even more dedicated enthusiasts, Renaultsport 200 Cup is equipped with the stiffer Cup chassis and its lighter weight enables it to claim the best power-to-weight ratio (166hp/tonne) of its class.
Clio GT, a more purposeful personality
Styling: Clio GT can be recognised by its exclusive Malta Blue body colour and specific styling. It sits on new 16-inch “Dark Anthracite” alloy wheels, while its more assertive front end features a gloss black grille and distinctive black headlamp backgrounds. The extended side sills hint to the performance of the GT version’s specific suspension. Meanwhile, the twin exhaust tailpipes and rear lip spoiler underline Clio GT’s sporty looks. Inside, eye-catching sporty details include drilled aluminium pedal covers and extra side support for the seats, as seen on Clio Renaultsport 200, plus GT-badging for the front seats.
Suspension: Renault Sport Technologies’ engineers have paid special attention to ensure that Clio GT’s chassis combines first class dynamic ability with a comfortable ride. The stiffness of the front springs and the calibration of the front dampers have been uprated by 15 per cent compared to the previous version. The variable-rate coil springs at the rear are 15 per cent stiffer, too, and the new rear dampers feature larger diameter rods. These solutions ensure enhanced control of body movement and more precise cornering without detracting from comfort. To counter body roll, the front anti-roll bar diameter has been increased from 20.5 to 21mm, while the rear suspension is equipped with the same stiffer bushes as Clio Renaultsport. Clio GT’s power steering is also more direct for swifter response and greater driving pleasure.
Powertrains: in the UK, the GT version will be available with a choice of two engines: the 1.6 16V 128 (exclusive to Clio GT) and the dCi 106. Both drive through the TL4 six-speed gearbox.
Carminat TomTom®: THE AFFORDABLE INTEGRATED NAVIGATION SYSTEM
Until today, no factory-fit navigation system has been available in the compact car segment for less than £500. Manufacturers frequently propose either semi-integrated, entry-level monochrome systems which use the radio’s small screen, or more costly systems. However, such solutions fail to really meet the expectations of customers who have consequently turned increasingly to more affordable removable products. Now, for less than £500, Carminat TomTom® brings those who hesitate between removable and integrated navigation systems the best of both worlds.
Positioned high up on Clio 2009’s dashboard, the large 5.8-inch (14.73cm) colour screen is close to the driver’s line of sight, which means that his or her attention can stay fully focused on the road ahead. A bespoke exterior aerial ensures optimal GPS signal reception, while using the loudspeakers of the car’s own audio system guarantees clear sound. Integrated systems offer greater protection from theft, too, and are safer in an accident. Carminat TomTom® is operated by a user-friendly Bluetooth® remote control, and covers some 40 countries across western and eastern Europe and Scandinavia, plus Turkey and South Africa.
FUNDAMENTAL STRENGTHS CARRIED OVER FROM CLIO III
Clio Sport Tourer 2009: a practical estate with distinctive looks
In order to capitalise on its existing popularity (15% of Clio sales in the UK), Clio Sport Tourer 2009 features the same front-end styling cues as the hatch version, which itself takes its inspiration from New Mégane. With a length of 4,228mm (an increase of 26mm over Clio III Sport Tourer), Clio Sport Tourer 2009 continues to stand out as one of the market’s most compact estates, while its dynamic stance is heightened by its steeply-raked rear screen. The latter is topped by a spoiler and black or chrome profiled roof bars (depending on version) which are unmistakable pointers to Clio Sport Tourer 2009’s status as the perfect leisure car. The longer rear overhang frees up a generous boot volume of 439 litres (up to parcel shelf), a figure which extends to 1,277 litres with the easy-to-manipulate rear benchseat fully folded. Meanwhile, Clio Sport Tourer’s removable boot floor gives owners the opportunity to choose between maximum carrying capacity or a completely flat floor and makes it easy to switch between a wide variety of uses. The baggage cover and the removable floor can both be stored away in their own clever, practical compartments.
Clio 2009 interior: impressive quality and user-friendly
Clio 2009’s interior styling was guided by a desire to provide a sense of well-being and perceived quality. The dashboard is available with a soft-touch finish and incorporates clear, easy-to-read instruments, while the fully-integrated screen of the Carminat TomTom® system is positioned at the top of the centre console. Clio 2009 is a car in which drivers feel immediately at home. The practical controls have been made even more user-friendly, including the short steering wheel-mounted stalks. The switch for the cruise control and speed limiter has been moved to the centre console, alongside the hand brake. Meanwhile, special care has gone into the interior trim, with a range of elegant new ambiences depending on equipment level.
Benchmark cabin space and comfort
Clio 2009 boasts class-leading overall cabin space, with rear shoulder-room of 1,362mm in the case of three-door versions and 1,343mm for five-door and estate versions. The sensation of space is further accentuated by the generous headroom at the rear, while rear occupants benefit from kneeroom of 162mm, too. Indeed, Clio 2009 comfortably seats passengers who are more than 1.88m tall (95th percentile of the European population).
Grand tourer quality acoustic performance
Clio 2009 features soundproofing performance from the next segment up. Its architecture has been carefully engineered to filter out engine and transmission-generated noise, as well as road noise. Care has also been taken with the sound damping between the cabin and the engine, while wind noise has been reduced thanks notably to the use of inflatable inserts in the structure’s hollow sections.
Efficient suspension performance for a comfortable, reassuring ride
The Clio 2009 family delivers a carefully-honed balance between rigorous, comfortable and safe handling. The suspension has been developed to meet the expectations of the customers of the different versions (hatch, GT, Sport Tourer).
The suspension of New Renault Clio Hatchback is identical to that of Clio III and provides a high standard of efficient, comfortable roadholding. Compared with the hatchback version, Clio Sport Tourer 2009 is equipped with a bigger-diameter rear anti-roll bar (21mm) for enhanced control of body roll. Its dampers and suspension travel have also been adapted to match the estate version’s heavier weight and extra carrying capacity.
Responsive, environmentally-friendly engines
The range of engines and transmissions has been carefully selected to bring out the best in Clio’s dynamic performance. These powertrains are respectful of the environment, too, thanks notably to:
- a choice of dCi engines, two of which emit less than 120g of CO2/km (e.g. dCi 86: 117g of CO2/km)
- the TCe 100, which boasts the lowest CO2 emissions of any 100hp petrol engine,
The versions of Clio 2009 powered by the 1.2 16V 75, TCe 100 and dCi 86 and 106 engines meet all three of the criteria necessary to qualify for the Renault eco² signature.
The petrol line-up comprises four powerplants: the 1.2 16V 75hp, the 1.2 TCe 100, the 1.6 VVT 110hp and the 1.6 VVT 128hp.
Two diesel engines are also available, both of which are widely acclaimed both for the driving pleasure they offer and for their outstanding acoustic performance. They are the dCi 86 and the dCi 106. Both are particularly fuel efficient and emit less than 120g of CO2/km.
There is a choice of two manual gearboxes: a five-speed gearbox (Type JH or JR) and a six-speed box (Type TL4) for the 1.6 16V 128 and dCi 106 engines.
The 1.6 16V 110 powerplant is fitted a four-speed automatic transmission (Type DP0).
A raft of equipment from the next segment up
The Clio 2009 range includes a long list of equipment from the next segment up aimed at either facilitating driving or enhancing travelling comfort including the hands-free card, cruise control and speed limiter.
Clio 2009 is also offered with the Sound Pack, an upgraded entertainment system comprising a 4x20W RDS radio with single-CD MP3 player with 4 speakers, 2 tweeters and fingertip remote controls, Multifunctional TunePoint connector (including USB) allowing connection of MP3 players and Bluetooth connectivity (music streaming and phone calls).
For enhanced comfort and safety, Clio 2009 can be equipped with the follow equipment:
- cruise control
- speed limiter,
- additional cornering lights
- rear parking proximity sensor,
- automatic headlamp and wiper activation
Safety: a priority for Renault, and a self-evidence for New Renault Clio
Clio 2009 family benefits from Renault’s extensive expertise when it comes to active and passive safety.
The combination of New Renault Clio’s suspension and a range of driver aids (ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution, emergency brake assist, ESP, traction control, engine torque overrun regulation) ensures an outstanding level of active safety.
Meanwhile, Clio III Hatchback obtained the maximum five-point rating in the crash tests carried out by the independent body Euro NCAP at the time of its release in 2005. Clio 2009 is built on the same platform and is equipped with the third-generation Renault System for Restraint and Protection (SRP3), a pledge of uncompromising protection for all occupants.
THE CLIO STORY
Clio, the benchmark of its class: Clio 2009 has profited from Renault’s vast experience in the small car segment, as well as from the success Clio has enjoyed since its launch in 1990. Like the 4CV and the R5 before it, Clio has left an indelible mark and today stands out more than ever as a model with genuine big car attributes that has won over millions of motorists. In just under 20 years, 10 million Clios have been sold in more than 100 countries, including four million first-generation Clios, 4.5 million Clio IIs (since 1998) and more than 1.2 million Clio IIIs (since 2005). Renault Clio is to date the only model to have twice been voted Car Of The Year; initially in 1991 at the time of Clio I’s launch, and a second time in 2006 when Clio III took the award. Clio was also the first car of its class to obtain a four-star Euro NCAP crash test rating (in 2000), and was the first to secure the maximum Euro NCAP score of five stars in 2005.
Clio III benefits from outstanding reliability, too, a claim confirmed both by independent and in-house studies. For example, the latest report (2008) released by ADAC, Germany’s leading authority in this domain, puts Clio III at an ‘excellent’ standard of quality after one, two and three years of use. The model’s reliability is also illustrated by the findings of the CSI survey carried out in France by JD Power which measures the customer satisfaction of owners who have had their vehicle for an average 2½ years. For the first time, this survey covered both the car and associated services, and more than 80% of Clio III owners reported that they were fully satisfied.
A broad range in response to customer demand
Clio lives up more than ever to its reputation as the small car with big car attributes, delivering a C-segment performance/equipment package for the price of a hatchback from the next segment down. It notably targets young one-car families looking for a compact family hatchback that offers the best value for money in terms of performance and equipment. It also stands out as an excellent solution for couples who no longer have children living at home and who want to switch to a compact family hatchback which offers a performance and equipment package similar to that of their former vehicle (often an MPV or large saloon).
Like its predecessor, Clio 2009 is manufactured at Flins (France), Valladolid (Spain) and Bursa (Turkey). The GT version is manufactured at Flins, and Clio Renaultsport at Dieppe (France).