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Mark Webber puts the Renault Clio RS to the test

New Renault Clio RS hot hatch gets the F1 driver treatment

15 Mar 2013

SANDOWN Raceway has welcomed two celebrities on the same day as Formula 1 driver Mark Webber climbed behind the wheel of Australia’s first Renault Clio RS.

The feisty Clio has just launched in Europe but will not appear on our shores until early 2014, so the presence of the car will be a rarity on Australian soil for a while yet.

Both Webber and the Clio RS have made a special visit to Melbourne to promote Renault’s involvement with the Australian Grand Prix this weekend.

The French manufacturer provides the engines for Webber’s Infiniti Red Bull Racing car and is thus closely associated with Webber’s success to date.

“My first test in Formula 1 was with a Renault engine. I’ve achieved all my wins, all my podiums and all my pole positions with Renault engines,” he said.

“The Clio RS is nimble, light and powerful. It’s nice to see how much grip the car has got and how awesome it is on the brakes.”

Webber’s sentiments mirror that of GoAuto, after we tested the car at its launch in southern Spain last week.

The Clio RS is powered by a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine and, in accordance with changing FIA regulations, Webber’s 2014 F1 car will also be powered by a 1.6-litre turbo.

However, the similar capacity and the presence of a turbo is where the comparisons essentially end, with the new F1 units to produce somewhere in the region of 550 kilowatts over the Clio’s relatively modest 147.

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