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Renault Sport Clio RS16 punches out 275hp. Image by Renault.

Renault Sport Clio RS16 punches out 275hp
Running gear from Renault Sport Megane Trophy-R dropped into barking Clio RS16.
<< earlier Renault article     later Renault article >>

 


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What's all this about?

It's the maddest Renault Sport Clio since the Clio V6 departed in 2005. This is the Clio RS16 and it's proper mental stuff.

Is this the Clio you were talking about only a few days ago?

It is, but now we know just what Renault Sport Cars, working with Renault Sport Racing, has gone and done. It has essentially dumped the running gear of the Megane 275 Trophy-R into a Clio.

Good lord! How has it achieved that?

With a lot of work. This project has been cooked up in just five months but don't for a minute think it has been straightforward. For instance, that 60mm wider Liquid Yellow bodywork is because the RS16 needs 19-inch Speedline Turini wheels on Michelin Pilot Sport SP2 tyres. And the Clio was only ever designed to take 18s maximum. Thus, the wheel arches were first shaved and then fitted with glorious carbon fibre extensions.

It looks excellent. Is that spoiler an addition too?

Yes, it's from the Clio Cup and it adds 40kg of downforce to the rear at 125mph. The front end has been adapted to get as much cooling air as possible to the 2.0 turbo, there are 350mm Brembo brakes with red callipers providing the stopping power and the PerfoHub front, Clio R3T (the rally version) rear suspension also borrows parts from the Megane - such as the one-way adjustable dampers - to keep the car on the tarmac. The chassis also employs bits from the Espace and Kangoo, which is rather more bizarre. Even the electrical system needed re-jigging, given the Clio and Megane use different set-ups, while the exhaust is an Akrapovic twin-exit item.

So how does the engine fit with the Clio's EDC transmission?

It doesn't. This Clio RS16 has a six-speed manual. Praise be! The 2.0-litre kicks out 275hp at 5,500rpm and 360Nm from 3,000- to 5,000rpm, so although RS hasn't quoted any performance figures, let's take a stab in the dark and say the RS16, should it ever make production, will be flippin' quick.

Ah, 'should it enter production' - is this a concept car, then?

At the moment, yes, built to celebrate Renault Sport's 40th anniversary and due to be displayed at the F1 Monaco Grand Prix by Renault's current team driver Kevin Magnussen. It will then be shown at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in June. And we'd be very surprised if Renault could resist from launching this as a limited edition showroom model, given the success of extreme hatches like the Ford Focus RS, Mercedes-AMG A 45 and Audi RS 3 Sportback.

Anything else you want to add about the RS16?

The interior is seriously focused, featuring a pair of bucket seats with six-point harnesses up front, and absolutely no seating in the rear in order to save weight. For the same reason of keeping the kilos off, the air conditioning has been junked. We can't think of many instances where we've wanted a car manufacturer to push the button more than with this Clio RS16. Go on, Renault, you know you want to...



Matt Robinson - 27 May 2016

Earlier articles featuring 2016 Renault Clio

2016-05-23: New Clio Sport will take a bow in Monaco
2016-03-29: Renault's Clio celebrates 25th birthday


2016 Renault Clio Renault Sport R.S.16. Image by Renault.2016 Renault Clio Renault Sport R.S.16. Image by Renault.2016 Renault Clio Renault Sport R.S.16. Image by Renault.2016 Renault Clio Renault Sport R.S.16. Image by Renault.2016 Renault Clio Renault Sport R.S.16. Image by Renault.

2016 Renault Clio Renault Sport R.S.16. Image by Renault.2016 Renault Clio Renault Sport R.S.16. Image by Renault.2016 Renault Clio Renault Sport R.S.16. Image by Renault.2016 Renault Clio Renault Sport R.S.16. Image by Renault.2016 Renault Clio Renault Sport R.S.16. Image by Renault.









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