Renault celebrated 40 years of Formula 1 involvement in 2017 and now it has decided to infuse some of that F1 magic into its feisty five-door hatchback. Even the special edition’s name takes after the nomenclature used in the greatest motorsport category, with the limited-run model carrying the “Clio R.S. 18” moniker as a nod Renault Sport’s forthcoming R.S. 18 F1 car.
But before you get too excited, this is merely a visual package for the Clio RS. The special version starts off as the 220 EDC Trophy version and gets as standard an Akrapovic exhaust system (optional on the regular model) to maximize the soundtrack provided by the turbocharged 1.6-liter gasoline engine. With 220 horsepower and 280 Newton-meters (206 pound feet) of torque, the R.S. 18 mirrors the technical specifications of the stock hot hatch.
What truly sets it apart from the standard Clio RS are the “R.S. 18” badges slapped onto the front doors, along with the double-diamond motif noticeable on the roof. Renault has also applied some grey decals as well as a model-exclusive black theme for the front bumper and badges to lend the supermini a more menacing look. The F1-styled front blade comes painted in Renault Sport’s typical Sirius Yellow and this striking hue also be noticed on the sides to contrast the predominantly Deep Black hue.
Stepping inside the cabin, the new Clio R.S. 18 has numbered door sills to denote its limited availability and has received a faux carbon fiber theme for the air vent surrounds. Rounding off the changes are the Renault Sport-branded carpet mats and a combination of Alcantara and leather for the sporty steering wheel.
The special edition likely serves as a last hurrah for the current-generation Clio taking into account Renault is expected to unveil the new version in October at the Paris Motor Show. While a fancy version such as this R.S. 18 is nice and all, let’s keep in mind what could have been. Unveiled a couple of years ago, the Clio R.S. 16 concept had a wide body and a meaty 275-hp 2.0-liter engine from the previous Megane RS, complete with its six-speed manual and a limited-slip differential. Unfortunately, it never reached production.
Gallery: 2018 Renault Clio R.S. 18
The Clio R.S.18: motorsport breeding
A new, aggressively-styled limited-edition Clio, inspired by the world of Renault Sport Formula One Team
A dark, striking look embellished by Sirius Yellow detailing, plus an unmistakable sporty feel inside
In addition to targeting motorsport aficionados, the Clio R.S. 18 has the makings of a future classic
Boulogne-Billancourt, January 11th, 2018 – Renault Sport is pleased to announce the launch of the new limited-edition Renault Clio R.S.18, named after Renault Sport Formula One Team’s 2018 challenger. It proudly echoes the black-and-yellow livery of Renault’s most iconic F1 cars and is squarely aimed at motorsport enthusiasts and serious collectors.
Derived from the Clio R.S. 220 EDC Trophy – the most potent car of the Clio R.S. range – Renault Sport’s latest offering embodies Renault Sport Formula One Team’s ambitions and takes its inspiration from motor racing’s premier series which saw Renault celebrate the 40th anniversary of its involvement in 2017. The newcomer follows in the wheel tracks of a number of other limited-edition Clio R.S. models that have paid tribute to Renault’s successes in Formula 1 over the years.
“Renault Sport customers share our passion for motorsport. With this limited-edition model – which is based on the technical foundations of the Clio R.S. 220 EDC Trophy – we are proud to be able to offer them the very best of our engineering expertise. Its sporting credentials are expressed by a number of design flourishes drawn directly from the world of Formula 1. The Renault Clio R.S.18 is an eloquent illustration of the close bond that exists between our motorsport activities and our road cars.” - Quentin Audiffren, Clio R.S. Product Manager, Renault Sport Cars
The world of Renault Sport Formula One Team packed into a Clio R.S.
The R.S.18 badging on the front doors, plus the grey decals and new R.S. double-diamond logo on the roof are a direct reference to Renault Sport Formula One Team and the single-seater it will race in 2018. Meanwhile, hints of Renault Sport’s iconic Sirius Yellow for the F1-style front blade, protective side mouldings and wheel centre caps produce a striking contrast with the Deep Black body colour. The rear badging, front bumper, Renault diamond and R.S. logo on the bumper are entirely black, a touch that is exclusive to this car. The diffuser’s Deep Black finish adds to the car’s forceful stance.
On the inside, the premium feel of this limited-edition version is evident from the outset. The R.S.-branded door sill is numbered, while the Alcantara®/leather-trimmed steering wheel and carbon fibre-effect air vent surrounds contribute to the cabin’s sporty feel. Renault Sport carpet mats are standard.
Needless to say, the Renault Clio R.S.18 has inherited the Renault Clio R.S. 220 EDC Trophy’s punch thanks to its 220-horsepower engine which features a torque boost function for peak torque of 280Nm. Meanwhile, its Trophy chassis has been lowered and stiffened, its front dampers incorporate hydraulic compression stops and its steering is even sharper and more direct. The Renault Clio R.S. 18 is equipped as standard with an Akrapovic exhaust, ensuring a powerful engine sound and dynamic pick-up.
The limited-edition will be launched in Europe in the first half of 2018. Collector!