Don't call this hot hatch mellow yellow.
Renault’s Clio and Megane hot hatches have a reputation, especially in Europe, of being among the best in the segment. At this year’s Paris Motor Show, the French brand aims to continue that legacy by taking the Clio R.S. 16 concept there. Power is plentiful thanks to the 270-horsepower (201-kilowatt) 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, which is also in the Megane R.S. 275 Trophy-R. The high-powered pair also share the same six-speed manual gearbox.
The R.S. 16 doesn’t hide its extra grunt because Renault Sport widens the body by 2.3 inches (60 millimeters). The more muscular fenders house black 19-inch wheels. The engineers expect this hot hatch to win any race, so they also include lights in the front fascia that look like checkered flags. The Liquid Yellow paint is eye-catching too.
The R.S. 16 is a concept for now, but Renault Sport seems serious about gauging customer demand by taking it to this year’s Formula One Monaco Grand Prix and Goodwood Festival of Speed. If the hot hatch gets a green light for production, the company might not have much development work to do. Most of the major drivetrain components come out of Renault’s parts bin, so the engineering crew would just need to make sure everything works together reliably. The resulting model probably wouldn’t be inexpensive in showrooms but would certainly grab headlines.
We hope the R.S 16 eventually hits the road, and we would like to see how it would perform against the Paris Motor Show’s major hot hatch debut – the Honda Civic Type R concept. The Japanese model reportedly has around 300 hp (224 kW) from its 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. However, the Civic is bigger than the Clio. The extra power might give the CTR an edge in a straight line, but the little Renault could gain back time in the corners. We suspect it would be quite a race.
Gallery: 2016 Renault Clio R.S. Paris Motor Show
CLIO R.S.16: A NEW CONCEPT CAR TO SHOWCASE RENAULT SPORT’S EXPERTISE
Concept car celebrates Renault Sport’s 40th anniversary and return to Formula 1
Clio R.S. 16 grafts the Renault range’s highest-performing engine into a Renault Clio and features the colours of the 2016 R.S. 16 F1 single-seater
Clio R.S. 16 to be unveiled at the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix
Renault Sport have unveiled a new concept car on the streets of Monaco’s famous Grand Prix circuit today driven by Renault Sport Formula One Team’s Kevin Magnussen. The Clio R.S.16 is the highest performance Renault Sport road-going vehicle ever and its reveal in 2016 celebrates both 40 years of Renault Sport and Renault’s return to Formula One as a constructor.
Developed in record time
“Our aim was to produce a concept car with genuinely outstanding performance credentials,” notes Patrice Ratti, Managing Director of Renault Sport Cars, leader of the project which particularly inspired the development team’s specialists. “On paper, producing a Clio R.S. powered by our most potent engine – namely the 275-horsepower two-litre power unit which delivers peak torque of 360Nm – was an extremely appealing idea, but we had to make sure it was feasible.”
Thanks to new working procedures involving teams from the worlds of motorsport and road cars, the development of the highest-performance road-going Renault Sport car ever took just five months from start to finish.
A variety of technical challenges
Finding the ideal way to house the engine, transmission and cooling system of the Mégane R.S. 275 Trophy-R was a significant challenge. The exhaust system was also revised as a function of the engine’s potential, while the suspension was engineered to match the car’s outstanding performance characteristics. Careful attention was paid to the sound produced by the car, too, and an Akrapovic twin exhaust system was selected.
The design and development team dealt successfully with the constraints inherent in the Clio R.S. 16 project (body widened by 60mm, 19-inch wheels and optimisation of the engine cooling system) to produce an expressive, sporty stance. The result is enhanced by an LED R.S. VISION chequered-pattern lighting signature featuring exclusive multi-faceted reflector technology.
Renault Sport’s trademark Liquid Yellow has been combined with gloss black details to mirror the livery of Renault Sport Formula One Team’s R.S.16 F1 single-seaters.
After today’s first public airing in the streets of Monaco, the car’s next official appearance will be the Goodwood Festival of Speed on June 23-26.