This is Renault Sport’s fastest model so far, the special Clio RS 16 concept which uses the powertrain out of a Megane RS 275 Trophy R.
We were expecting from Renault to add some power into the Clio RS but the French company surprised everyone in Monaco with their decision to shoehorn the engine and manual gearbox from the hardcore Megane into the lighter Clio RS.
Built to celebrate Renault Sport’s 40th anniversary, the new Renault Clio RS 16 concept was revealed at the hands of F1 driver Kevin Magnussen at the Monaco Grand Prix. The company was keen to present a fully engineered car, so this special Clio features several enhancements in its chassis and suspension derived directly from motorsport applications.
“In theory, a Clio R.S. fitted with our most powerful engine – the 275bhp, 2.0-litre turbo engine – was an attractive proposition, but we had to conduct more serious checks as regards its feasibility”, said Managing Director Patrice Ratti. “In less than a month, a small team had completed a preliminary study that confirmed it was possible to house this engine under the bonnet.”
The bodywork is now 60mm wider, the wheels measure 19 inches in diameter while the whole front end of the car was revised in order to correctly house the powertrain and the cooling system.
Dampers are the same used by the Megane RS 275 Trophy-R, meaning one-way adjustable shocks, with the big brother’s braking system transferred as well, featuring 350mm steel discs. The rear axle was taken straight for the rally R3T version of the Clio which offers a 50% increase in roll rigidity. The wheels are 19inch items.
“Generally speaking, we tried to reuse the innovations that were introduced on Mégane RS 275 Trophy-R,” said Maurizio Suppa. “For example, we used a lithium-ion battery, which saved around fifteen kilos and space in the engine compartment!”
Only two models exist so far, with the yellow one serving as the concept car and a black one used for development testing. Renault wants the new Clio RS 16 to be seen as the successor of the crazy Clio V6s of the past.
Renault will decide whether to throw this hot Clio into limited production in the coming months, with a price tag close to 45,000 euros (around $50,000 in current exchange rates). Motorsport-inspired tech doesn’t come cheap…