• May 30th 2006 at 3:03PM
  • 18

The European market is blessed with a host of hot hatchbacks, and this latest addition ratchets the competition up a notch. Renault's new Clio Renault Sport is distinguished by "Formula 1-inspired" aerodynamics, notably front fender extractor vents and a first-in-class functional rear diffuser. The latter generates about 88 pounds of downforce at highway speeds, maxing out at more than 150 pounds at high speed.

Power comes from an uprated version of Renault's 2-liter, 16 valve engine, redlined at over 7,500 rpm. The normally-aspirated powerplant produces 197 hp and about 159 foot pounds of torque. A close-ratio 6-speed gearbox is new for this year's model, and in combination, the revamped drivetrain is good for the 0-100 km/h (62 mph) sprint in 6.9 seconds.

Broader fenders are stretched over 215/45 tires running on 17-inch alloys. Brembo brakes on cross-drilled discs provide the stopping power.

New chassis upgrades include a 2-inch wider track front and rear, and a new-design "double axis" front strut suspension, which Renault claims is immune to the torque steer that plagues many high-performance MacPherson strut-type FWD cars. The new RS also gets a stiffer rear torsion beam suspension.

Deliveries will start this summer, but order books are open now. More photos after the jump.

[Source: Renault]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      yea, this slots right in there above the civic type r for me...

      any idea if they'll ever produce the mid/rear engined v6 clio ever again? or was that just a short run so they could get it into whatever racing class that it fit into? i see jon asked about it too...

      being in a military town i see a few european cars. Usually its peugeot diesels that are brought back from overseas assignment i would imagine... they definately catch your eye because they are different, if for no other reason.
      • 9 Years Ago
      This looks like a nice little hot hatch; more sensible than the Clio 6 barnstormer. I must say, Renault :::appears::: to be making some decent cars. Since I'm in the US, I can only wonder, and remember the engineering disasters they sold here in the past.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Looks like a hot ride. This is way (!!!) better looking than the Versa, Fit, Calibur, Yaris, Vibe, Aveo, etc. I want one of these here!!
      • 9 Years Ago
      I just returned from France, where gasoline sells for $6.82 per gallon (at current exchange rates)! Diesel was almost 30% cheaper.

      Buying a V6 at those prices would quickly empty one's wallet.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Man, how come they can't mail some of these over here to the US?

      Oh, because nobody will buy them. Such is life.
      • 9 Years Ago
      This seems like a nice car, i have seem the standerd models go round and im not that keen on them, i think there to big at the back, theres to much there !
      But NOW seeing this 197bhp sport, im starting to change my mind, looks nice, looks fast, looks mean and your be the TOTAL envy off all the " BOY RACERS ". You couldnt ask for much more than that surly ??????
      • 9 Years Ago
      I wish we got more hatchbacks stateside.
      • 9 Years Ago
      This is the base for the Nissan Versa. Will we see a Versa Nismo model?
      • 9 Years Ago
      Honda???? nothing wrong with the type r reliability fantastic,basic but a real car and nothing has been able yet to compare with 0-62 even with bigger engines like the st
      and the new type r 0-62 6secs that my program.
      Try a drive.better still do a mac course.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Please bring this to Canada and dump the Spec-V (Nissan).
      • 9 Years Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      I like it.
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