Hot on the heels of the new-look Renault Clio R.S. arrival last August, the new-look Clio Renault Sport Trophy is primed for launch in Australia with more bite and more bark, keen to hunt down a tasty piece of track or challenging back road.
Boasting a new peak of 162kW of power at 6,050rpm and up to 280Nm of torque at just 2,000rpm from its turbocharged 1.6-litre engine, the 2018 Renault Clio R.S. Trophy comes with a lower riding body (-20mm at the front and -10mm at the rear), 40% stiffer rear springs and stiffer dampers, and a 10% faster steering rack (13.2:1 ratio).
The lightweight titanium Akrapovič exhaust system from the turbo back creates a memorable soundtrack, ideally suited for traversing soaring mountain passes and the deepest tunnels.
The enhanced 162kW (220hp) engine in the Trophy’s heart features a larger turbocharger and revised mapping, boosting the power output by 10 percent over the regular 149kW (200hp) Sport or Cup versions. Peak torque of 260Nm– identical to that of the 200 versions – can be raised by a further 20Nm to 280Nm through the ‘Torque Boost’ feature in fourth and fifth gears, giving the Trophy even sharper acceleration.
The revised air intake and exhaust system are designed to minimise back-pressure losses. The rev limit has been raised to 6,800rpm from 6,500rpm in the Clio R.S. 200 versions, with peak power arriving at 6,050rpm. Maximum torque is available at just 2,500rpm. Boost pressure has been increased from 0.96 bar to 1.03 bar, and the rush to 100km/h is over in just 6.6 seconds.
As with the just updated Clio Renault Sport Cup and Sport versions, the Trophy employs the six-speed Efficient Dual Clutch (EDC) transmission with aluminium shift paddles for manual gear selection. The Trophy’s EDC has been substantially recalibrated by the performance experts at Renault Sport. It’s claimed to deliver up to 50 per cent faster shifts and permits greater flexibility in Sport mode for more comfortable driving in town.
The steering wheel-mounted paddles have 30 per cent shorter travel to provide a more immediate and responsive feel, while the higher rev limit along with new software calibration allows earlier down-changes under heavy braking during track use.
The R.S. Drive gives three driving modes: Normal, Sport and Race, which adapt engine timing, gearshift pattern, throttle response, steering weight and ESC operation to suit different driving scenarios.
The Trophy also comes standard with ‘Launch Control’ for perfect standing starts, while ESC and ASR traction control can be fully disconnected. Finally, the R.S. Differential serves to improve cornering grip and standing start performance and counter understeer where enthusiastic driving is permitted.
Track-ready Michelin Pilot Super Sport 205/40R18 tyres on 18-inch Renault Sport black alloy wheels provide the contact to the road.
Combined fuel consumption figure is rated at just 5.9-litres per 100km, along with 135g/km of CO2. The engine is also Euro 6 exhaust emissions compliant.
The new Trophy version joins the Sport and Cup models in featuring LED multi-faceted lighting in the form of a chequered flag, dubbed ‘R.S. Vision’. This exclusive technology, initially seen on the Clio R.S. 16 concept car, co-ordinates the vehicle’s fog lights, cornering lights, side lights and dipped and main beams to enhance night-time visibility.
Inside, the Clio Renault Sport Trophy is resplendent in black leather sports seats with red highlight stitching and an embroidered R.S. logo on each individually adjustable headrest. The front seats are heated and the passenger’s is height adjustable. There are carbon-look air-vent surrounds, door handles and gear lever base plate; while the air-vent inserts themselves are finished in satin chrome.
On the dash is the latest iteration of the R.S. Monitor with on-board telemetry performance tracking system, phone mirroring for Android phones and R-LINK navigation and multimedia with voice control.
The BOSE premium sound system, optional on Clio Renault Sport Cup and Sport versions is standard, and offers seven high-performance speakers; a pair of dashboard tweeters, two woofers in the front doors, two speakers in the rear doors and a Richbass woofer in the boot along with a digital amplifier equipped with BOSE Digital Signal Processing.
“With its lowered stance and more powerful engine, the Clio Renault Sport Trophy is a track-day champion you can use in the daily rat-race,” said Elena Woods, Senior Model Line Manager for Renault Australia.
“The Trophy is the pinnacle of performance for Renault Sport in the ultra-competitive high-performance end of the light car segment, and Renault has always acquitted itself with honour here. The new Trophy will continue to be the torch-bearer for high excitement in a compact package,” Mrs Woods said.
“Our engineering changes and improvements run through the entire engine package, including an entirely revised Akrapovič exhaust system that is bolted to a new exhaust manifold. The exhaust note has been tuned to match that of the Megane Renault Sport Trophy-R.”
“We are working with renowned suppliers committed to motorsport such as Akrapovič to forge ever stronger links between the track and the road,” said Patrice Ratti, CEO of Renault Sport Cars.
The new-look limited edition Clio Renault Sport Trophy goes on sale now priced from $42,990 drive away, including metallic paint. It is available in four colours, Deep Black and Flame Red metallic paint or the Liquid Yellow, Pearl White signature colours (available at extra cost).