Renault Reveals Fourth Clio
(Tuesday 3 July 2012)
Twenty-two years after launching the original Clio, Renault has given preliminary details about the fourth-generation model, which will make its world debut at the Paris Show in September and will go on sale in the UK early next year.
Modern but recognisably Clio-ish in design, and with a why-did-they-do-that rear window arrangement, the new car will be available only as a five-door, even in high-performance Renaultsport form. It will also be the first Clio to be offered - in conjunction with the 120bhp 1.2-litre petrol turbo and 90bhp 1.5 diesel engines - with something called EDC.
The initials stand for Efficient Dual Clutch, indicating that this six-speed unit is a twin-clutch semi-automatic similar in concept to Volkswagen Group's DSG, Fiat Group's TCT, and so on.
Another new development is an 899cc three-cylinder turbo petrol engine which produces 90bhp and replaces the previous four-cylinder TCe 100 unit. CO2 figures for Clios fitted with this are said to be as low as 99g/km, making them exempt from Vehicle Excise Duty and the London congestion charge, though the greenest statistics of all relate to some examples of the 1.5 diesel, which Renault says will achieve 83g/km along with 88mpg combined fuel economy.
Of the more easily visible technology, the most impressive is the R-Link system which will be fitted as standard too all Clios from the Dynamique trim level upwards. Based round a 7" touchscreen whose home page can be personalised by the owner for his or her convenience, it includes TomTom satellite navigation, an eco-driving function (which among other things suggests ways in which you can save fuel) and internet access.
R-Link can also be enhanced with various downloadable apps. One of these, called R-Sound Effect, gives a choice of six engine sounds, each synchronised with what the car's actual engine is doing.
And, speaking of sounds, all Clios regardless of trim level have a system called Bass Reflex integrated into the audio speakers mounted in the front doors. Bass frequencies are, Renault says, more powerful as a result, and sound distortion doesn't become a problem until much higher volumes than would otherwise be expected.