The Clio RS is about to become as powerful as the Megane RS 275 Trophy.
Renault made a big splash at the F1 Monaco Grand Prix earlier this year when it brought the Clio RS 16 concept. While at that point there were no details about the possibility of putting the car into production, these spy shots indicate it’s about to happen. Chances are the hardcore Clio will not be a regular production model since Renault might decide to sell it only as a limited-run special edition, obviously with a price to match its status.
So, what to expect from the Clio RS16? Renault’s engineers will throw out the turbocharged 1.6-liter of the regular Clio RS to make room for the beefier 2.0-liter unit sourced from the now defunct Megane RS 275 Trophy. That means the hot supermini will up the power ante from the Clio Trophy’s 220 hp (164 kW) to no less than 275 hp (205 kW), but only if the Clio RS16 will indeed get the Megane’s full power. As far as torque is concerned, it will be bumped from 192 pound-feet (260 Newton-meters) to 266 lb-ft (360 Nm), but once again only if the Clio RS16 will benefit from the exact same powertrain as the Megane 275 Trophy.
Besides gaining more muscle, the production-ready Clio RS16 will also come with an upgraded cooling system to match its larger engine. The concept’s body was 60 mm (2.3 inches) wider compared to the regular version, but we’re not seeing the beefier fenders on this test vehicle. We do however notice the massive rear wing boosting downforce at the rear axle to improve stability and handling.
It’s too soon to say when Renault will introduce the car, although it would be nice to see it next month in Paris. As far as pricing is concerned, the current range-topping Clio RS Trophy costs €29,300 at home in France, so the RS16 will probably cost around €35,000 or even more. For that considerable amount of money you’ll be getting a six-speed manual gearbox in a car that might just have what it takes to claim the title for the fastest front-wheel-drive car on the Nürburgring. The crown currently belongs to Volkswagen for its Golf GTI Clubsport S with a time of 7 minutes and 49.21 seconds.