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Renault confirms Clio RS18 for UK. Image by Renault.

Renault confirms Clio RS18 for UK
Following strong customer demand after European launch, the Clio RS18 is coming here.
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What's all this about?

Renault is opening order books on the Renault Sport Clio RS18 Limited Edition.

This is that mental Megane-engined thing, isn't it?!

Ah. No. No, it isn't. That was the Clio RS16 and it would appear it's not going to get made. More's the pity. Note the two-digit difference, then, on the Clio RS18.

So this is still a bonkers, high-power edition of the Clio?

Err... not really. The RS18 is based on the Clio RS 220 Trophy and it gains no extra power or performance over that car, packing the same 220hp/260Nm turbocharged 1.6-litre engine for a 6.6-second 0-62mph time and a 146mph top speed. And yes, it's an EDC twin-clutch automatic, not a manual model, before you get your hopes up.

Right, but I bet it's more money, isn't it?

Yes, it is. The Clio RS18 Limited Edition is priced at £24,295 on-the-road, when a Trophy is about £22,000 as standard.

Sheesh. So what do I actually get for my extra outlay?

Inspired by this season's Renault Sport Racing Formula One Team machine - which is, unsurprisingly, called the RS18 - the road-going Clio is finished in Deep Black with RS Liquid Yellow highlights on the front blade, the side mouldings and the centre caps of the alloy wheels. All of the Renault diamond, the RS logo and the rear diffuser are finished entirely in Black Gloss, while there are RS18 diamond decals on the front doors and the roof - again, these link directly back to the F1 car. Further toys include an Akrapovi? sports exhaust, an Alcantara and leather-trimmed steering wheel, RS-branded carpet mats and carbon fibre-effect air vent surrounds. All this bounteous generosity is on top of the Trophy's comprehensive kit list... oh, and we nearly forgot the numbered kick plates, because another thing you get with the RS18 is a phenomenal level of exclusivity.

What do you mean?

We mean that just 15 right-hand-drive examples are coming to the UK. Fifteen. One-five. Clearly taking a leaf out of SEAT's crazy book, the Spanish company providing a mere 24 versions of the Leon Cupra R for one of the biggest hot hatchback markets on the entire planet, Renault UK obviously wants to make RS18 customers go on a mad treasure hunt for these special Clios.

Oh, in what way?

Well, you can't just walk into any Renault franchised dealer and slap down the best part of 25 grand for a Clio RS18. First of all, there are 20 Renault Sport Specialist Dealers in the UK and, of those, only ten are getting one example each to sell, while another - Renault Enfield, in London - is the best place to find the RS18, as it will have two right-hand-drive cars. The final three RS18 Clios will indeed go into the main dealer network, but you'll have to move quick to try and bag one, because order books are open right now and deliveries begin in mid-June.

Have you got a list of the ten RS Specialist Dealers for me?

You're lucky - we have. Aside from Enfield's pair and the three 'lucky dip' cars, the remaining RS18s will be at: Lookers, Newcastle; John Banks, Cambridge; Pentagon, Lincoln; Rawlinson, Bury St Edmunds; Bristol Street Motors, Nottingham; Harratts, Wakefield; Martins, Basingstoke; Arnold Clark, Hillington (just outside Glasgow); Renault Solihull; and Masters of Beckenham (Greater London, on the Kent border). Happy hunting!

Matt Robinson - 1 May 2018

2018 Renault Clio R.S. 18. Image by Renault.2018 Renault Clio R.S. 18. Image by Renault.2018 Renault Clio R.S. 18. Image by Renault.2018 Renault Clio R.S. 18. Image by Renault.2018 Renault Clio R.S. 18. Image by Renault.

2018 Renault Clio R.S. 18. Image by Renault.2018 Renault Clio R.S. 18. Image by Renault.2018 Renault Clio R.S. 18. Image by Renault.2018 Renault Clio R.S. 18. Image by Renault.2018 Renault Clio R.S. 18. Image by Renault.    - Renault road tests
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