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Renault Clio RS scores chequered facelift

Up and down: Prices for the Renault Clio RS have increased or decreased depending on the version you buy.

New fascia and Akropovic exhaust for tweaked Renault Clio RS hot hatch

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Renault logo8 Jul 2016

RENAULT has added new chequered flag-shaped front lights and a rear Akropovic exhaust to its fourth-generation Clio RS as part of the first facelift since it launched three years ago.

While performance and driving dynamics are unchanged – with a choice of 200hp (147kW) 1.6-litre turbo in Sport or firmer Cup suspension tunes, and a 220hp with hardcore Trophy tune – other exterior styling and cabin finish differences mirror those in the lightly facelifted regular Clio range.

Both the new tri-square lower lights and Akropovic exhaust on the flagship Clio RS220 Trophy are also said to be inspired by the Clio RS16 Concept unveiled at the Formula One’s Monaco GP in May.

The all-LED lighting strategy, including newly reconfigured headlight internals, “co-ordinates the vehicle’s foglights, cornering lights, side lights and dipped and main beams to enhance night-time visibility,” according to Renault.

However the RS220’s quicker steering rack and snappier gearshift speed for the six-speed dual-clutch transmission – dubbed Efficient Dual-Clutch (EDC) and still the only gearbox available – have not trickled down to the RS200 as expected.

Renault has not followed Volkswagen’s lead with the Polo GTI, passing on the opportunity to re-introduce a manual transmission. The preceding three generations of Clio RS have been manual-only propositions, while the Clio RS16 Concept debuted a manual teamed with a 2.0-litre turbo from the Megane RS.

The facelifted Clio RS220 Trophy claims an unchanged 6.6-second 0-100km/h, a tenth faster than the Clio RS200 Sport and Clio RS200 Cup. It also continues to produce 260Nm (or 280Nm on overboost), rising 20Nm (or 40Nm) over the regular models.

A three-mode drive select system – featuring Drive, Sport and Race selections – continues to be accessed on all Clio RS models via its carry-over RS Monitor application on the 7.0-inch centre touchscreen. Revised software called R-Link Evolution adds digital radio and Bose audio, both new to Clio.

Renault Australia has confirmed the facelifted Clio will arrive locally sometime during 2017, with the Clio RS set to follow. The current range is priced between $30,000 and $39,990 plus on-road costs.

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