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Clio Renaultsport 200 Turbo EDC - a Belated Review

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

The DriveWrite Archives Topics:  Renault Clio

Clio Renaultsport 200 Turbo EDC - a Belated Review

Geoff Maxted
August 3, 2013

Clio Renaultsport 200 Turbo EDC
DriveWrite had the opportunity to drive this car a few weeks ago courtesy of Renault. It is one of a number of really rather good hot hatches around these days. Fans of the previous version may well consider this car to be a bit soft and to have lost some of its predecessors hardcore personality. This is undoubtedly true. On the other hand most other drivers will appreciate the more sophisticated approach although a ‘Cup’ option to stiffen things up is available.

The day was overcast with a threat of rain. Out of the car park and on to a flowing B road the Clio was immediately into its stride. A shove with the right foot and a couple of flicks on the well-sited paddles later and the scenery was rushing past in a blur with an appropriate soundtrack. Incidentally, this soundtrack can altered by a synthesiser available on the touch screen that can make your Clio sound like a Renault Gordini or various other models. The novelty of this will wear off very quickly.

Statistics are not really enough to describe cars like this. We can talk about which hot hatch is fastest to 60mph (6.7seconds if you must know) and which motor has the rather irrelevant top speed but for a drive as exhilarating as this you’ll forgive us if we wax poetic.

The first thought is, ‘this is lunacy’, such is the sensation of power; but, as the car settles on the road, there’s a realisation that this rocket is just about as planted as it can get. There’s no drama; no sense of an imminent departure into the landscape - just real driving satisfaction.

Select sport and the steering hefts up a bit and the otherwise unobtrusive traction control goes into a partial mode. Select race and it goes off altogether for full race effect. The trouble is - this is Little Britain and there is scant tolerance for shenanigans on the road. Best save ‘race’ for track days!

So; overall impressions. Well, the Renaultsport Clio can pootle along in relaxed auto mode all day just by selecting drive although it is more involving to use the paddles of the efficient dual clutch gearbox. It is roomy, very comfortable with a high quality interior and a very tactile steering wheel. It is distinctive to look at with it‘s F1 style front blade, especially in liquid yellow, and cries out for the black gloss alloy option.

The truly good news is that if your maximum spend only extends to £20k this tremendous car remains well within budget. A total winner from Renault. To say it is better than all of the competition wouldn’t be true. It is better than many but not quite up with the very best and you know what that is. Nevertheless it is a great drive and it is excellent value. Recommended.

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