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.