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Clio Renault Sport

Clio Renault Sport
Manufacturer Renault Sport
Also called Renault Clio RS
Renault Lutecia RS
Renault Clio RS 172/182/197/200
Production 1998–present
Designer Patrick Le Quément (1998-2009)
Laurens van den Acker (2009-present)
Body and chassis
Class Hot hatch
Body style 3-door hatchback (1998-2012)
5-door hatchback (2013-present)
Related Renault Clio
Engine 2.0 L I4 petrol (1998-2012)
1.6 L Nissan MR Turbo (2013-present)
Transmission 5-speed manual (1998-2005)
6-speed manual (2005-2012)
EDC dual clutch (2013-present)
Length 3,810 mm (150.0 in) (Mk II), 3,970 mm (156.3 in) (Mk III)
Width 1,810 mm (71.3 in) (Mk II)
Height 1,410 mm (55.5 in) (Mk II)
Curb weight 1,050 kg (2,315 lb)-1,150 kg (2,535 lb)

The Clio Renault Sport (or Clio RS for short) is a hot hatch produced since 1998 by Renault Sport, the high-performance division of French automaker Renault. It is based on the Clio supermini.

The engine remained the same since the first Clio RS, a 2.0-litre straight-4 petrol engine, with an FF layout and a three-door hatchback body style. The latest version changed to a 1.6-litre engine with a five-door hatchback body style.


  • Clio II RS (172) 1
  • Clio II RS (182) 2
  • Clio III RS (197) 3
  • Clio III RS (200) 4
    • Gordini 4.1
    • Silverstone GP 4.2
    • Australian GP 4.3
    • 20th Anniversary Special 4.4
    • Raider 4.5
    • Red Bull 4.6
  • Clio IV RS (200) EDC 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Clio II RS (172)

The first Clio RS followed as the third Clio from Renaultsport division after the Clio 16V and Clio Williams. Renault presented the Clio RS in 1999. They used the body of the original Clio II from 1998 and added sportive features such as wider arches, different bumpers, side skirts and 15 inch OZ alloy wheels. it was powered by the F4R730 engine, a 2.0 litre 16valve with a VVT system via a dephaser on the intake camshaft pulley. The engine was not an evolution of the Williams one, called F7R. Instead, it was a new engine used in other Renault models, like the Laguna or the Espace, but optimized by mecachrome, with an output of 172 PS (127 kW; 170 hp).

A limited edition model called the Clio 172 Exclusive was produced and was limited to 172 units. All models were green, had BBS alloy wheels and featured a full leather interior as opposed to half leather and alcantara.

The interior and exterior of the Clio II were facelifted in 2001, and the Clio RS followed shortly after. Engine wise, the accelerator throttle was changed for an electronic one, minor design revisions were made to the cylinder head, it received a new airbox and filter, a cheaper and poor designed one, and instead of having 2 catalytic converters (like phase 1 had), it only has one larger with 2 Lambda sonds. These changes with the addition of some weight made this a little slower in comparison with Phase 1. The gear ratios were changed for a more closed ones to mend this. The exterior adopted the new design in the bumpers and lights.

The equipment included automatic xenon headlights with washers, six-disc changer, four airbags, revised leather seats (with a "Renaultsport" logo) and 16-inch (410 mm) alloy wheels.

In 2002 Renault Released the 172 Cup which bore the chassis code CB1N and was known by Renault as the "Sport lightweight version" The vast majority of cars were produced in Mondial Blue (metallic) with a handful of the cars being Iceburg Silver (Metallic). The 172 Cup did not have many of the luxuries of the regular 172 such as Leather/Alcantara Seats, Automatic Xenon Headlights, Rain sensitive wipers or solar reflective coated windscreen. However, it did boast lightweight 16 inch Speedline Turini Alloy wheels and an ABS plastic front splitter to increase downforce and a restyled rear spoiler. The interior also had the usual silver plastic trims painted body coloured blue. The car had significant weight reduction with much of the sound deadening being removed and apparently thinner glass to reduce weight even further. Early models had no air conditioning and thus no climate control and typically produce more power as the engine has less ancillaries to drive, there is also a significant weight saving. However on a handful of the later cars, air conditioning and digital climate control was fitted. It is regarded by enthusiasts as a more hardcore hot hatch as it had no ABS brakes and also had revised suspension geometry in order to increase steering response which gives the car a tendency to oversteer. The brake bias is fixed by means of disconnecting the rear axle compensator, which typically fails a UK MOT test for low braking effort on the rear wheels.

Clio II RS (182)

In 2004, the Clio II was refreshed again. The black headlights were now grey, new 8 spoke wheels and more colour options were added (as well as some deleted), but the basic design stayed the same. The six-disc changer was dropped from the standard equipment but was still available as an optional extra. Cruise control and ESP (Electronic Stability Program) were now standard equipment.

The Clio RS changed a lot more than the regular Clio. The engine was upgraded to 182 PS (134 kW; 180 hp) with the addition of a twin exit exhaust tail pipes, a 4-2-1 manifold and a high flow 200 cell sports catalytic converter. The spare wheel was removed and replaced with a flat floor in the boot compartment to accommodate the new exhaust tailpipes. The interior received minor revisions with the perforated texture of the alcantara on the seats now having white dots and Recaro Trendline reclining bucket seats being available as a £800 optional extra in Cup models and a £500 optional extra in regular 182 models.

A new option that appeared was the Extreme/Cup add-on pack which included an ABS plastic front splitter, a restyled spoiler (the same one Renault fitted to the 172 Cup) and a strengthened hub with 60mm spacing on the strut bot holes (previously 54mm), lowered suspension and revised damper rates, a thicker/stiffer front anti roll bar and anthracite alloy wheels, which were rumoured to be lighter however they were in fact the same wheels which had two part numbers stamped on the back (one for silver and one for anthracite).

Clio II RS models could now be ordered in cheaper "Cup" specification which restricted the choice of colour to just two colours, J45 Racing Blue and Inferno Orange but meant the Extreme/Cup add-on pack came as standard. Cup models also lacked: Xenon headlights and headlamp washer jets, Climate Control (heater vents for rear footwells also removed), illuminated sun visors, Solar Reflective Windscreen, Automatic headlights and rain sensitive wipers, leather / alcantara seats/door cards (rear bench also downgraded to a single piece item with no headrests), Engine cover, Sill plates with "Renault Sport" logos and Steering Wheel was downgraded to an item with no Renault Sport logo or rubber thumb grips. The carpet and headlining was also downgraded to a basic specification (even the document wallet was downgraded from faux leather to cloth). Sound deadening was also reduced, along with several fabric deflector pads present in the front wheelarch/engine bay gaps and one in the left rear wheel arch being removed from specification. The horn was downgraded from a twin unit to a single unit and the interior light was downgraded to a unit with no map reading function.

The rarest option seems to be the factory fitted Carminat Sat-Nav, probably due to the high cost and rumoured poor performance in comparison to aftermarket units.

However, the final Clio II RS ("Trophy" - of which 550 were made worldwide) were based on Cup models and included suspension revisions such as Sachs remote-reservoir dampers and eibach springs on the front (which lowered front ride height by 10mm) and revised dampers on the rear, lightweight Speedline Turini 16" Anthracite wheels, spoiler from the Clio 255 V6,

Clio III RS (197)

The new Clio III drew technology from Formula One, including a rear diffuser and brake cooling side vents, they upgraded the engine, now to 194 bhp (145 kW; 197 PS). The car is heavier than its predecessor, but the acceleration figures are slightly improved due to a combination of more power, torque and the new six-speed gearbox with shorter gearing according to the official figures published on the Renaultsport website

Clio III RS (200)

The facelifted Clio III is further enhanced with the inclusion of a front splitter and the engine now produces 197 bhp (147 kW; 200 PS). This has been made possible by tweaks to the exhaust system, valve timing and ECU also stated to give a slight increase in fuel economy. Acceleration figures are expected to be slightly improved due to shorter gearing in 1, 2 and 3 and enhancements have been made to the cup chassis including making the steering rack more responsive. Cosmetic enhancements include the addition of larger tailpipes protruding slightly from the rear diffuser, i.d. coloured front bumper insert, wing mirror covers and rear diffuser and i.d. interior trim. Renault also introduced a new i.d. paint option of Alien Green. The 200 is highly regarded by EVO magazine, remaining their hot hatch of choice since 2009. "After the mild disappointment of the Clio 197, Renaultsport has got the Clio back to its very best, producing a cracking small hot hatch more than capable of chasing down supercars on eCOTY 2009 for a top five finish" It is hailed by CAR Magazine as "the 911 GT3 of hot hatches." and has also remained CAR Magazine’s "Best in Class" since its release in 2009 (At time of writing 9-11-2012).

RS Clio Performance Comparison (Official Figures)
Model Displacement Power Top speed 0–100 km/h Power/Weight
172 1998 cc 169 PS (124 kW; 167 bhp) 139 mph (224 km/h) 7.3 sec 160.38 bhp/tonne
182 1998 cc 178 PS (131 kW; 176 bhp) 139 mph (224 km/h) 7.1 sec 161.46 bhp/tonne
197 1998 cc 197 PS (145 kW; 194 bhp) 134 mph (216 km/h) 6.9 sec 158.88 bhp/tonne
200 1618 cc 200 PS (147 kW; 197 bhp) 141 mph (227 km/h) 6.9 sec 161.34 bhp/tonne

Keeping with an aggressive marketing campaign, Renault have publicly released many limited edition variants of the 200.


The Gordini was the first of the Limited Editions, with 500 limited in the UK, but in other countries they were unlimited; it came in two colours, white or blue. The Gordini featured traditional off centred stripes with a metallic Gordini badge texture along the exterior of the car that stretched from the bonnet over the roof and onto the rear hatch. The steering wheel featured the Gordini stripes and blue stitching throughout the interior. Other interior changes included Gordini leather stitched seats and a blue transmission fabric. The Gordini maintained the original 17" 12 spoke 200 Cup wheels but depending on the colour choice they had the inner sections on the spoke sprayed, blue for the blue Gordini’s and Black for the White Gordini’s. The Front bumper and rear diffuser were in gloss black and the front F1 Blade was in white for the Blue Gordini’s and Grey for the White Gordini’s. Apart from the Livery and slight cosmetic changes, the Gordini was mechanically the same as the standard 200’s.

Silverstone GP

The Silverstone GP Edition was a special edition production run of 50, exclusive to the UK to celebrate the Silverstone Grand Prix. The 200 Silverstone Edition was released alongside the Twingo Silverstone Edition. It only came in Silverstone Silver and featured the optional extra 17" Renaultsport Speedline Black Alloys which are slightly lighter than the Standard wheels, and ‘Deep Black’ detailing around the car including the bumpers and diffuser, wing mirrors and the roof. The Silverstone GP Edition came standard with Recaros and a RS Monitor for logging G-Force and Lap times.

Australian GP

The Australian GP Edition was a special edition run of only 31, exclusively to Australia to celebrate the Australian Grand Prix. Similar to the Silverstone GP Edition, it featured the ‘Deep Black’ detailing across the car, including the front and rear bumpers, the wing mirrors and the roof. It came with the optional extra Renaultsport 17" Speedline Black alloys, Recaro’s as standard and the RS Monitor. The Australian GP Edition came in Renaults unique ‘Liquid Yellow’ colour that had previously been a huge success on the 197 R27 Limited Editions.

20th Anniversary Special

The 20th Anniversary special Edition was available in a limited production run of 500 units during 2010 to celebrate 20 years of the Clio and 10 million sales. It was sold in ‘Pearlescent Givre’ (white). It features the same ‘Deep Black’ detailing of the Silverstone GP and Australian GP editions, with the gloss black roof, front bumper and rear diffuser. The Wheels were the black Speedline 17" 200 Clio-Cup wheels. The front side vents, the mirrors and the F1 Blade were detailed in anthracite.


The Raider Edition, known as the ‘Angel and Demons’ Edition in Australia, featured Renaults first production Matt Paint of either ‘Hologramme Grey’ or ‘Torro Red’. The other unique features of the Raider edition include the larger 18" wheels wrapped with Bridgestone REO50A tyres, this had been the first different tyre on the 200 series, previously all 200’s came with Continental Contact Sport 3’s.

Red Bull

The Red Bull Limited edition celebrated winning the Constructors World championship in 2011 with the RB7’s, powered by Renault Engines. The RB Limited Editions feature the 18" Black Alloyed Interlagos Alloy wheels wrapped in Bridgestone’s REO50A tyres. The body work is painted in black with strong yellow contrasts on the front F1 Blade, rear diffuser and wing mirrors. The production run was limited to 455 cars.[1]

200 Cup features a stiffer and lighter chassis, quicker steering and a lower ride height and has a lower equipment level than the standard Clio Renaultsport 200.[2]

Clio IV RS (200) EDC

Revealed at the 2012 Paris Motor Show, the fourth-generation model ditches manual transmission in favor of the EDC dual clutch transmission (Efficient Double Clutch) developed by Renault Sport engineers. The new model now comes with a 1.6L DIG TURBO Nissan MR engine, which develops 200 brake horsepower (150 kW) of power and 240 newton metres (180 lbf·ft) of torque. It is available exclusively as a 5-door model for the first time.

See also


  1. ^ Lee, Kevin. "Limited Edition Renault Clio R.S. and Megane R.S. Red Bull". Retrieved 2012-01-10. 
  2. ^ "2009 Geneva Auto Show: Renaultsport Clio 200 and Mégane 250". 2009-03-03. Retrieved 2010-11-07. 

External links

  • RenaultSport- UK Official website
  • - Clio 197 owners club
  • - UK based enthusiasts club
  • Renault Breakers Yard - Biggest UK Renault Sport Dismantlers
  • - Community of Australian Renault Sport enthusiasts
  • RenaultSport Heritage Website
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