Renault’s Clio 4 breaks cover and looks upmarket
The all-new car will be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in September and will go on UK sale early in 2013.
The new Clio is the first complete creation from Renault’s Design Chief Laurens van den Acker, the Dutchman who joined the brand from Mazda in 2009, replacing Patrick le Quément.
Renault hopes to move its supermini upmarket and to make it more recognizable and desirable – while some 11.5 million Clios have been sold since the model first launched in 1990, the most recent Clio 3 failed to reach the sales levels of its predecessors.
The new Clio is longer, wider and lower than the car it replaces. Unlike previous models it will be offered as a five-door only – Renault has immediately indicated that its Renaultsport performance sub-brand Clios will continue in five-door form.
Many elements of the look are evolved from the recent DeZir concept car and Acker describes it as; “No acute or aggressive angles, just voluptuous curves that make you want to go up to it and caress it.” The car is also on average 100 kilos lighter than its predecessor.
The front design is the first evidence of Renault’s new house style, with a bigger badge, while the rear door handles are concealed in the pillars, a move designed to attract buyers who prefer the look of a three-door.
Three engines will be offered initially, two petrol and a diesel. The 89bhp TCe petrol unit is Renault’s first three-cylinder turbo in this format and sits alongside a 119bhp TCe petrol and an 89bhp dCi diesel of 1.5 litres.
The Clio’s makers quote emissions and fuel consumption savings of more than 20 per cent for the new petrol unit over the current TCe 100 – an eco version will offer mpg figures close to 66mpg and a 99g/km emissions figure.
Renault also hopes to encourage more economical driving through fitting the car with an Eco mode that modifies various engine parameters to save fuel by up to 10 per cent , a Driving Monitor that works alongside the gearchange indicator and glows green, orange or red depending on the driving style, and a downloadable App with various advice on eco driving.
The bid to move upmarket will include adding much new technology, notably infotainment systems centering on a 7-inch touchscreen on all but lower-spec models.
Words by: Andrew Charman