All-new Renault Clio previewed
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Renault has unveiled the all-new, fourth generation Clio ahead of its public debut at September's Paris Motor Show. Set to launch in Ireland early next year the new car is being tasked with reviving the French manufacturer's fortunes.
The Mk4 Clio is the first production Renault penned entirely by Laurens van den Acker, Senior Vice-President of Corporate Design. The Dutchman has done a good job of disguising the fact that the new car will only be available in five-door guise with a swooping window-line at the rear doors and handles integrated into the C-pillars. Longer, lower and wider than its predecessor, the new car clearly shows its DeZir concept car inspired styling with the prominent rear haunches and new upright Renault diamond taken straight from the 2010 concept. The lower edge of the new headlights is picked out in chrome and they feature LED daytime running lights.
From launch, the new Clio is likely to be offered in a choice of eight body colours, including the launch hue, which is derived from the red used for the DeZir concept.
Unlike its predecessor, which was often criticised for using cheaper dash layouts in the base model, the new car features more upmarket trim (modelled on an aircraft wing apparently), which will be standard across the range. Lower spec cars will have to do without the seven-inch colour touch screen that features software co-developed with TomTom. Dubbed 'R-Link' the unit has satnav as standard with a variety of optional extras available to purchase via the Renault R-Link Store, the automobile world's first ever Application Store we believe.
This, together with a variety of material finishes, coloured inserts that can be personalised to match exterior colour choices, soft-touch rotary dials and a generally more solid-feeling cabin should go a long way to supporting Renault's assertions that the new Clio will up the brand's premium appeal.
With personalisation big business in the supermini segment buyers will be able to choose different colours and finishes for interior elements including the dashboard, door panels, steering wheel, grab handles, gear lever and air vent surrounds, upholstery materials and optional floor mats.
At launch the Clio will be offered with either a 900cc 90hp petrol engine or a reworked version of the 1.5 dCi diesel again offering 90hp. The petrol unit is Renault's first foray into the world of turbocharged three-cylinders and is claimed to provide a balance between driving pleasure and fuel economy.
An ultra-low inertia turbo - similar to the setup in the Ford EcoBoost engine - delivers the power of a naturally aspirated 1.4-litre but is 21 per cent more efficient with fuel economy of 65.7mpg and Co2 of 99g/km.
The addition of a stop-start system to the 1.5-litre dCi engine means it is even more frugal, returning 88mpg and CO2 emissions of 83g/km.
These engines will be joined by a new four-cylinder 1.2-litre petrol unit later in the year. Dubbed the TCe 120 the new powerplant will be mated to a six-speed EDC transmission (Efficient Dual Clutch). Direct fuel injection and turbocharging mean the new engine will deliver 120hp and 190Nm of torque from 1,750rpm.
The engines and specifications above are not yet confirmed for the Irish market, nor is the launch date, however, we do know that there's a hot new Renaultsport version on the way too - as previewed at last weekend's Goodwood Festival of Speed in England.
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