The engineering team at Renaultsport’s built up enough of a rock solid front-wheel drive tuning reputation for themselves, that when a new hot Clio is announced, and the name of the car reads like this one, petrolheads all over lick their lips and start researching loan interest rates. At around £21k when it goes on sale in the summer, and with an awesome-sounding spec, the new 200 Turbo could be the ‘budget’ hot hatch to beat in 2013.

Clio 200 Turbosport

There’s a hell of a lot of hot stuff coming out this summer, so if you’ve been a good boy saving for your house deposit, it’s best to look away now! For a touch or two over £21k, this Clio Renualtsport 200 Turbo gets the tech to back up its speedy sounding name.

Sure, it’s not up there with the also summer-coming 355bhp (!) Merc A45 AMG we’ve just posted about below, but the Clio is some £15k, or more, cheaper. And while the Merc is the most serious bit of hot hatch kit you can nearly buy, this new Clio isn’t exactly all girly giggles. It breaks down like this…

 Gone is the last hot Clio’s high-revving 2-litre motor; in comes an all-new 1.6-litre turbo with 197bhp and240Nm. Peak power is made at 6,000rpm, peak torque from 1,750 to 5,500rpm

– The old Clio takes 6.9 seconds to 62mph, the new car shaves two-tenths off that

 Quicker then? Yes. And lighter too, at 1,204kg at the kerb

– Another all-new key component is the 6-speed double-clutch gearbox – it took them long enough! It can change down multiple gears at once, like a Ferrari. Worth the wait, then!

– The R.S. Diff front differential is limited-slip and ready for action

– As usual, there’s a cool Cup Chassis option for a few extra quid, that drops the car 3mm (!) lower to the tarmac, and stiffens the suspension response a full 15 per cent. A quicker steering rack, gloss black 18-inch alloys with sticky Dunlop Sport Maxx tyres and red brake calipers also help keep the Cup a touch quicker

Sounds pretty good so far, right? And let’s be honest, when was the last hot Clio not much cop? Indeed for £2,000 there is no more fast ‘n’ fun car you can buy than a used Clio Renaultsport 172. Phase 1, preferably.

But, and there is a small ‘but’. I’m not sure I like the sound of the “R.S. Sound Pipe [that] sends engine soundwaves directly into cabin for heightened driving experience”. It’s true that turbo engines can be a bit muted compared to N/A motors, but piping in the noise? Yes, many manufactures do it, but aren’t Clio Renaultsports all about the purest of hot hatch performance? Chuck that pipe in the trash and save me the weight of it, thanks!

The new Clio 200 Turbo goes on sale in April, deliveries in June, and will come in five body colours, including this 200 Turbo-only Liquid Yellow.


By Dan Anslow


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