The fourth-generation Renault Clio was sold on the European market until the early months of 2019 when it was replaced by the new fifth-gen model. With no performance version in the range, the successor to today’s hatchback effectively killed the Clio RS. Seeing how difficult and expensive it is becoming for the automakers to develop new superminis due to the ever-stricter emissions standards, we doubt we will see a new RS-badged Clio ever again. And there are valid reasons for our nostalgia.
Introduced at the 2012 Paris Motor Show, the last Clio RS was launched as the first Clio RS only with a dual-clutch automatic and was sold exclusively as a five-door hatchback. Under the hood was a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine, good for 200 horsepower (147 kilowatts) and 177 pound-feet (240 Newton-meters) of torque. This wasn’t the most powerful and performance-oriented Clio model to come from the factory, though.
Gallery: 2016 Renault Clio RS
A few years later, when Renault launched the facelifted Clio with new LED headlights, a Trophy upgrade for the Clio RS was also introduced. It came with a more powerful turbo engine with 220 hp (162 kW) and 207 lb-ft (280 Nm) of torque and other smaller upgrades. On paper, this hot hatch can hit the 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) mark in around 6.6 seconds. The top speed is 145 mph (234 kph).
These numbers aren’t hugely impressive in the performance segment but if you look at the entry-level category, they are still more than decent even some six or seven years after the model’s launch. And with a few hardware and software upgrades, the Nissan-sourced inline-four mill can be easily tweaked to deliver around 260 hp (191 kW).
Such is the case with the white hot hatch from the video attached at the top of this page, which is from the later Trophy models and features a performance boost from Dekker Motorsport. It feels mighty fast for what it really is and even manages to hit the 155 mph (250 kph) mark around the end of the clip. And that angry exhaust note at gear changes somehow reminds us of a rally car. Too bad Renault doesn’t sell the Clio RS any longer.