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New-look Renault Clio RS Trophy checks in

Cuphead: Renault’s Clio micro car range will be topped by the new 162kW/280Nm turbocharged 1.6-litre RS Trophy, priced at $42,990 driveaway.

$42,990 driveaway for updated 162kW/280Nm Renault Clio RS Trophy hot hatch

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Renault logo3 Oct 2017

By TUNG NGUYEN

RENAULT’S updated Clio RS Trophy flagship has landed in Australian showrooms from $42,990 driveaway to top the French brand’s facelifted micro hatchback line-up that first launched back in May.

Powered by the same 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine as its RS-badged Sport and Cup siblings, the Trophy ups power from 147kW to 162kW, which is available at 6050rpm, thanks to a larger turbocharger and revised engine mapping.

An additional 20Nm of torque is also on tap in fourth and fifth gear due to a Torque Boost feature for a maximum of 280Nm available from 2500rpm, while the engine redline has also been lifted from 6500 to 6800rpm.

Other mechanical tweaks in the Trophy consist of a lightweight titanium Akrapovic turbo-back exhaust system, increased turbo boost pressure from 0.96 to 1.03 bar and a reworked air intake set-up.

With power channelled to the front axle via a six-speed Efficient Dual Clutch (EDC) automatic transmission and a Launch Control function, the new Clio RS Trophy can blitz the zero to 100km/h sprint in just 6.6 seconds – easily outclassing the Toyota 86 and Mazda MX-5.

Compared with its rivals, the French micro hot hatch also outguns the 134kW/240Nm Ford Fiesta ST and 141kW/250Nm Volkswagen Polo GTI, while sightly down in the torque when stacked next to the 153kW/300Nm Peugeot 208 GTi.

The Clio RS Trophy’s transmission has also been tuned to shift up to 50 per cent faster and features steering-wheel mounted paddles that sport 30 per cent less travel distance to engage.

RS Drive offers three different driving modes – Normal, Sport and Race – which can tweak the engine, transmission, throttle, steering, and stability control settings to suit driver’s preferences.

Handling components have also been revised, with a lowered ride height (-20mm at the front, -10mm at the rear), 40 per cent stiffer rear springs and dampers and a 10 per cent faster steering rack.

An RS Differential and 18-inch wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport tyres ensure ample cornering ability which Renault Australia describes as “being more tenacious than a pit bull’s grip on an incautious postie’s trouser leg”.

Inside, the Trophy-spec Clio can be identified by black leather sports seats with red stitch detailing, RS-logo emblazoned headrests, seven-speaker Bose sound system and heated front seats, as well as carbon fibre-look air-vent surrounds, door handles and gear lever base plate.

Fuel economy in the Clio RS Trophy is rated at 5.9 litres per 100km, while CO2 emissions are clocked at 135 grams per kilometre.

Renault Australia senior model line manager Elena Woods said the new Clio RS Trophy continues the brand’s tradition of high-performing micro hatchbacks.

“The Trophy is the pinnacle of performance for Renault Sport in the ultra-competitive high-performance end of the light car segment, and Renault has always acquitted itself with honour here,” she said.

“The new Trophy will continue to be the torch-bearer for high excitement in a compact package.”

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