We recently got our hands on the
Renault Clio Renaultsport 220 Trophy EDC for a brief blast.
Seeing it parked there, waiting
for it’s driver, you realise it’s not small like the Clio’s of yesteryear.
The sumptuous leather bucket
seats hold you in place like a clingy ex girlfriend you’re trying to break up
It’s classy in the cabin but
pretty dark. Everything is black, the seats, the door cards, the dash, the
carpets, the carpet mats……..oh, but at least the seat belts are red.
Pottering up the road it feels
very civilised. A little too civilised to be honest. At slow speeds, the gear
change on the EDC gearbox is odd. The blurb says in ‘normal’ mode, the
gearchange is 40% quicker than the previous model. When you’re just running
around, the gearchange is pedestrian. It reminds me of an 90’s Ford Granada
automatic gearbox with long pauses between up changes changes that are pretty
Bumbling our way through slow
moving traffic, we were feeling underwhealmed.
Our minds wondered, chatting
about random stuff, and we almost missed the turn to the alpine course. Then,
as the road opened up and the traffic faded, we stamped on the loud pedal and
things changed dramatically.
Under acceleration, the gear
change on the twin clutch gearbox is spectacular, lightning quick. Renault say
in ‘Race’ mode the gear change is 50 per cent
faster than the previous model thanks to software recalibration, and they’ve
thrown in a raised rev limit to further increase the fun factor.
you want to party, this Clio rocks.
Renault have fitted a new, faster
steering rack to make the steering ultra quick, even more precise and
incredibly direct. The suspension is lower and stiffer, particularly at the
rear and there’s more power: Now that’s what we wanted to hear.
The 1.6L turbocharged engine has
been enhanced, beefed up, and now boasts 220hp at 6,250rpm (up 20hp) and with
‘Torque Boost’, peak torque rises to 280Nm. That’s plenty to play with.
Renault have achieved this
through new engine mapping, a larger turbo, a more efficient induction system
and a remodelled exhaust with the option of an Akrapovic exhaust system for the ultimate power and sound.
There are loads of cool toys on
this Clio. One we didn’t get to play with is the Renault Sport Monitor v2, This
is a performance tracking system providing the driver with real-time data
(optional on RS 220 Trophy).
It displays and records all kinds
of information such as; Lap timer with memory function, Performance data such
as acceleration times, Transverse and longitudinal g-force, Data for the main
engine functions including oil temperature and brakes plus real-time engine
performance data (torque, power).
This was a real Jekyll and hyde car for us.
If you want to potter about, it’s not very good, but if you want to get your
funk on, this not so little Clio is ready to party. If we get the chance of a
longer test we’ll be sure to let you know what we think.