The new Renaultsport Clio will have no manual gearbox option. It was previewed at the Goodwood Festival of Speed via a camouflaged production car climbing the famous hill. That was fitted with a six-speed twin-clutch transmission (with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters) which Renault has confirmed to evo will be the only transmission available.
It’s mated to a 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine – sourced from the top-spec Nissan Juke DiG-T – upgraded to around 200bhp and 180lb ft of torque. With mk4 Clios weighing up to 100kg less than their mk3 equivalents, the Renaultsport version should tip the scales below 1200kg. As a result, expect a circa-6.5sec 0-60mph time and a 145mph top speed.
Like the standard Clio, the Renaultsport will be five-door only, with its rear door handles concealed to give the appearance of a three-door. It’s expected to be the same size as the outgoing Clio, while the car at Goodwood wore inch-bigger 18in alloy wheels.
The new Renaultsport Clio will be unveiled minus its disguise at September’s Paris motor show, before sales begin early in summer 2013. Prices should start at £18,000, pitching it directly against the new Ford Fiesta ST and Peugeot 208 GTI. A sharper Cup chassis is expected to be available from launch.
Renault has also confirmed the Clio Williams will not be making a comeback. Reports circulated about a return for one of the most iconic hot hatch badges after Williams and Renault rekindled their F1 relationship in 2011, but with production of the outgoing Clio 200 coming to a halt in October, timing – among other issues – has called time on a return for blue paint and gold wheels.