Renault Clio RS 220
The limited edition Clio earns silver as a comfortable commuter and works on the fast track.
Every time I think I’ve finished work on Renault Sport, there’s something new. This time it was a fully loaded Clio, raising the bar for the faster-moving part of the French brand.
Its full title is Clio RS 220 EDC Trophy. Renault Sport has created a limited-edition Clio with an engine that has more punches, a faster dual-clutch gearbox and a more powerful design.
For me, the best thing is that the Trophy pack works as a comprehensive package. It is not overloaded in any area, which makes driving extremely enjoyable at any speed.
It responds faster at any speed, with the kind of roll response I crave in all turbo cars, and the chassis is solid but not harsh with grip and balance to match the job from engine room.
I didn’t expect to like the car as much as I did
There is a query to follow. Why does Renault name its cars in the term horsepower – in this case 220 horsepower or 162 kilowatt – when the French gave us a metric system including Newton meters and kilowatts to measure motor output? It was a minor concern in a smart little car.
The luxurious base Clio is a $ 20,000 city car, tastier than a Renault sports car, even better with the 200 engine pack and reaches a peak state of 220 Trophy.
At first I didn’t expect to like the car as much as I did. I came to it from Peugeot 208 GTi, a hot adult who earned The Tick last week. Peugeot feels bigger and more fit than Renault, even though they compete in the same class.
What gives Clio an advantage – superior to anything in the class, including the Ford Fiesta ST is a personal preference – is how it can be a smart squirrel on the street in city conditions but still Provide comfortable domestic excursion.
In the 220 Trophy guise, it’s a long way beyond the 900cc Clio Authenticique, which unlocks Renault’s action for $ 18,000 in Australia.
The $ 20,000 premium adds clear enhancements to the engine, gearbox, suspension, wheels, seats and dials. Limited edition items and badges mark it as one of 220 cars – is that okay? – brought to Australia.
At the heart of the upgrade is an engine that adds 15kW and 40Nm but still meets Euro6 emissions standards. Some manufacturers do this by just adjusting the computer controls, but Renault Sport has outfitted with larger turbo engines, new input settings, modified engine mapping and what it calls the “torque boost” function in the fourth and fifth gears.
In the gearbox, the changes can be 30 percent faster and that is supported by modified paddle adapters that reduce free play in the switches.
There’s also a new steering rack for quicker response, plus a lower and sturdier suspension.
Intuitive items include 18-inch alloys, carbon fiber interior trim, leather sports seats and Trophy badge front and center in the grille.
When I slid into 220 for the first time, I was tired and just wanted a quiet home. That’s what I get, with comfortable and supportive seats and seamless power, which means I only need a slight tick on the accelerator to stay with commuter traffic.
Closer to home, I had a little fun with the dual clutch gearbox on some gears decelerating fast as I tested the power of the brakes.
Clio feels a pocket rocket much more alive than the 208 GTi
The next day, I will be jogging happily. And Clio provides with a beautifully balanced package.
The time of 6.6 seconds for the 0-100km / h dash doesn’t seem too fast but it’s good for a car that’s too small and light. It has lots of punches, and even more when I activate the RS mode switch.
So far, the best aspect is the seamless and easy power supply, which gives me all I need to overcome and some twists.
The chassis may easily get too hard, but it’s not. The suspension complies with crash-absorbing instead of crashing through the cabin but Trophy, taut in all conditions, rotates and clings intelligently.
There is no need to take risks in Race settings but Sport mode offers – Clio feels a pocket rocket much more vivid than the 208 GTi. In its immediate response, it really resembles the classic Peugeot 205 GTi that I drove and loved decades ago.
It also has a much more user-friendly dashboard layout than Peugeot’s heavily promoted iCockpit approach.
220 Trophy is not a cheap car but it is a very good car, very smart and interesting.