We first saw this car last weekend when several official images “accidentally” hit the web. At that point, it was believed the car had an uprated version of the turbocharged 1.6-liter gasoline engine with 250 horsepower (186 kilowatts). It turns out those rumors were false as the Clio R.S. 16 concept you see here actually has the larger turbo 2.0-liter sourced from the Megane R.S. 275 Trophy-R from where it has also inherited the six-speed manual gearbox.

The beefier engine is good enough for a respectable 275 horsepower (201 kilowatts) and a maximum torque of 266 pound-feet (360 newton meters) which should turn this Clio RS concept into an absolute pocket rocket. Compared to the Clio RS 220 EDC on sale today, the concept’s body is 60 mm (2.3 inches) wider and the cooling system was taken from the Megane RS to match the stronger engine.

In addition, Renault Sport’s engineers have fitted the 275-hp supermini with chunky 19-inch alloy wheels and a special LED chequered-pattern lighting signature to make it stand out even more. Interestingly, to cope with all that torque, the engineers had to adapt some components borrowed not only from the go-fast Megane, but also from the Kangoo and Espace.

Scheduled to make its first public appearance today at the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix practice, the concept wears Renault Sport’s traditional Liquid Yellow paint combined with glossy black details. This finish was selected to mimic the look of the Renault Sport Formula One Team’s R.S.16 F1 car. The company with the diamond logo also has plans to showcase the Clio R.S. 16 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed which will take place from June 23rd until the 26th.

Developed over the course of just five months, the Clio R.S. 16 marks the 40th anniversary of Renault Sport and also its return to Formula 1. It will be interesting to see whether Renault will aim to take down the ‘Ring record for a front-wheel-drive car which currently belongs to the VW Golf GTI Clubsport S with a time of 7 minutes and 49.21 seconds. But bear in mind, this Clio is only a concept whereas the Golf is a production car.

Source: Renault

Gallery: Renault Clio R.S. 16 concept

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  • 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
  • Press Kit on Clio R.S. 16 available to download

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.

Performance-led design

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.

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