Make / Model Search

Future models - Renault - Clio - Renaultsport RS

DCT only for Renault’s next Clio RS

Automated: The next-generation Renault Clio Sport will be available exclusively with a dual-clutch transmission, unlike the current model (pictured).

No manual gearbox or three-door bodystyle for next-generation Renaultsport Clio RS

16 Apr 2012


NEXT year’s Renaultsport Clio will come only with an automated transmission rather than a manual when it arrives in Australia a little while after the rest of the Clio range in 2013.

And Renault will discard the three-door bodystyle across the whole Clio range, in favour of a five-door variant with hidden doorhandles like contemporary Alfa Romeo hatchbacks such as the Mito and Giulietta, and the recently unveiled Renault Zoe electric car.

The Renaultsport version of the X98-series Clio light car will drive its front wheels exclusively via a dual-clutch transmission (DCT), spelling the end of the six-speed manual that has served the Clio RS since the existing X85-generation debuted Down Under in 2007.

This will herald a very different sort of hot hatch, losing some raw edge in the pursuit of increased refinement and lower emissions, a Renaultsport insider told GoAuto.

However, the Megane RS will remain a more traditional Golf GTI rival as a manual-only proposition until at least 2016, with no plans yet to adopt the DCT technology beyond that.

“The next Clio RS will be 100 per cent dual-clutch,” our source revealed.

35 center imageLeft: Renault Zoe.

“But (the Megane RS265) is for people like us – the old-school type. I would say it is for the politically incorrect people. There will be no dual-clutch for now.

“And we will try to keep this car (with the manual transmission) as long as we can.

“Currently, in the Renault secret long-term planning, we have it for another four years from now, so we can guarantee you some very traditional and politically incorrect pleasures for another four years. After that, I have no idea what will happen.

“My philosophy is to enjoy (the RS265) as much as you can for as long as you can.”

The Clio’s DCT transmission is expected to be a variation of the Getrag-supplied six-speed dual-dry-clutch gearbox that debuted internationally in the Megane in 2010.

It is already an open secret that the Clio RS’s long-serving 147kW/215Nm 2.0-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol powerplant is on its way out, to be replaced by a smaller-capacity turbocharged unit of about 1.6 litres in capacity.

Our company source admitted the decision to switch to DCT and five doors in the next Clio RS was made not only in the interest of meeting increasingly stringent fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions requirements, but also to greatly extend the series’ appeal to women, younger people and car enthusiasts with small families needing five-door practicality.

“For us we have to deal with that,” our source explained.

“The future of the hot hatch business is going towards engines that are smaller, cars that are lighter, and we want to seduce new customers that we are not seducing now.

“We joke that we want to seduce the young lady from Paris who drives a Mini or Fiat 500 Abarth. We do need to appeal to these types of customers (with) the new Clio RS with the new philosophy.”

The result is that the hottest Clio will vie for the attention of Volkswagen Polo GTI, Alfa Romeo Mito and Audi A1 Sportback buyers, as well as Mini Cooper and Citroen DS3.

The changes mark the end of the big-engine/small-car era for cars in the B-segment – ironically a class that Renault helped pioneer with the early R5 Turbo in 1980 and carried through with the Clio Williams of the 1990s.

The DCT will be the first non-manual transmission offered on an RS product in Australia.

Although the fourth-generation Clio will be produced in Turkey alongside the Australian-bound Megane and Fluence, the RS will come from Dieppe in France.

Renault will showcase the X98 Clio range at the Paris motor show in late September.

Read more

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

Renault models

Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here