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2013 RenaultSport Clio first look

The stunning new RenaultSport Clio hot hatch has been revealed through its first official images on the same day it is revealed to the wider public at the 2012 Paris Motor Show.

Renault will once again look to renew rivalries with similar sized pocket rockets such as the Vauxhall Corsa VXR and the Citroen DS3 Racing.

You can comment on this car and others at the 2012 Paris Motor Show through our live blog.

Watch the video on Youtube here: www.Youtube.com/watch?v=YxIboRyUjsM

Engine and gearbox

The most noteworthy change found on the new RenaultSport Clio 200 is that it ditches the previous model's 2.0-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine, swapping it for a smaller 1.6-litre petrol unit.

Thanks to the use of a turbocharger, the new engine like its predecessor delivers 200bhp but it also contributes to a 25 per cent reduction in the Clio's CO2 emissions output.

Another major change is the new six-speed dual clutch transmission, which replaces the six-speed manual gearbox found on the previous RenaultSport Clio. Drivers will still be able to change gears manually on the new hot hatch however, by using the two gearshift paddles which flank the steering wheel.

Like previous versions, the RenaultSport Clio 200 will be sold in two chassis settings, either with a Sport chassis which should balance sporty driving characteristics and comfort. The alternative is the Cup chassis which sacrifices comfort in favour of maximising the car's stiffness and handling for the driving enthusiasts.

New equipment

Performance figures for the RenaultSport Clio 200 actually haven't been revealed yet, but its makers have detailed the new technological features debuting on the new hot hatch.

The new Clio can be switched between three different driving settings, which determine the exact steering feel, the stability control settings and throttle response. Owners can choose between "Normal", "Sport" or "Race" for their driving setting, the latter will provide the most hardcore experience.

Driving enthusiasts can now also enjoy the new car's Launch Control feature.

cliorsside_580x0.jpg

Other new features found inside the new RenaultSport Clio include Bluetooth, keyless entry and a multimedia system with satellite navigation and touchscreen support.

Another and more unusual new feature is called R-Sound Effect. It uses the onboard multimedia system to simulate the sounds of one of "a range of iconic engines" through the Clio's speakers.

This feature can tune up to the car's speed and acceleration and replicate a different engine noise if the driver so desires.

Styling-wise the RenaultSport hot hatch takes the body of the standard 2013 Clio and adds some sport body kit features. The new additions include sportier front and rear bumpers, a more aggressive-looking front grille, a rear spoiler and a diffuser.

In short

With the latter two features the RenaultSport Clio generates about double the amount of downforce the standard hatchback can achieve.

Pricing and launch date details for the 2013 RenaultSport Clio has yet to be revealed. The hot hatch will likely arrive sometime during the middle of next year, with prices starting at around £16,000.

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