How do you reimagine a revered classic? Think about movies, songs, and literary works universally regarded as perfect and how difficult it’d be to satisfy the faithful while bringing the work to a new audience. You could upset hardcore fans while delivering a lackluster product – which is something no one wants. However, this is something Renault is trying to do with the Clio – update a classic for the modern era while holding onto what makes the little runabout so popular – it was the best-selling car in France last year and second best-selling car in Europe, selling nearly 300,000 units.
New, decisive looks
The fifth-generation Renault Clio will debut as a 2019 model likely sometime early next year. The design is evolutionary, marrying similar elements from the previous generation with the design language of modern Renault models.
The rendering, which is a composite of what we’ve seen of the prototypes captured by spy photographers and a healthy dose of assumptions, show a new Clio with revised headlights (LEDs), new hood, and front fascia. It mimics the design found on the larger Mégane and Talisman without taking any design risks that could scare of would-be customers looking for something familiar. Other design cues include a revised greenhouse shape around the windows.
Underneath the revised, yet familiar exterior is a host of changes. The 2019 Renault is rumored to adopt the new CMF-B modular chassis, which was designed for compact cars from the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance. It’s the same chassis that underpins the new, European Nissan Juke. Under the hood should sit a 1.3- and 1.5-liter engine updated to pass the latest emission regulations.
Inside, interior quality should take a step forward as the automaker pays greater attention to detail, using higher quality materials. The current Clio uses a lot of plastic inside, which is one of the weak points for the current-generation car. Also included in the fifth-generation Clio should be several driving assistance technologies, which are also available on the larger Mégane and Talisman.