ON THE ROAD – IAN LYNAS PREVIEWS THE NEW RENAULT CLIO
The Renault Clio has been and continues to be one of the most popular cars, particularly in Europe; with sales now over 16 million worldwide since its launch in 1990. Not only a favourite for everyday motoring, the Clio has found success on the race track and special stage and it has been named France’s favourite car, become an international bestseller and won two Car of the Year awards in Europe. Regarded as one of the most emblematic city cars in the market, it has been sold in five generations for over 30 years. The Clio followed on from the equally successful Renault 5 and I can recall one occasion when I shared a R5 Turbo with the late Patrick Tambay; we did a spot of ice racing, one of the toughest motoring challenges I have ever taken part in; but I had a great teacher.
Now a new chapter opens with a new version brimming with the latest breakthroughs and its new style is even more compelling and elegant, and its chic and distinguished interior is ushering in a new cycle with the first rendering of the brand’s new design language. Right away you will notice a new technical front, the light signature has been completely revamped and channels the brand’s identity, and the new taut, exact and efficient lines give this new Clio E-Tech full hybrid a more striking character. This full hybrid has also updated its technology, for instance bringing adaptive cruise control and heated seats and steering wheel. The interior is sporty and elegant and the seat shapes are more enveloping to provide more lateral support and added comfort. The full hybrid’s new dashboard includes an edgeless digital display, spanning 7 to 10 inches diagonally according to the trim and you get Renault Easylink multimedia system, with built-in navigation and wifi smartphone replication. In order to prove maximum customer choice a variety of trims including the new esprit Alpine.
In 2020, Renault started building E-Tech full hybrid technology into its cars and this E-Tech full hybrid technology is packed with more than 150 patents as well as expertise that Renault has amassed in F1, especially energy recovery and regeneration and this makes the new Clio more dynamic and at the same time more efficient. The IC engine’s transmission has four gear ratios and the main electric motor has two. The E-Tech full hybrid powertrain can combine input for the IC engine and electric motor in up to 14 different ways to optimise energy efficiency. The Clio is invariably powered by the electric motor when it starts, and can use the electric motor up to 80% of the time in urban driving thus cutting consumption by up to 40% compared to a conventional petrol engine and battery capacity in urban areas is the highest in the hybrid city car segment. Thanks to its efficient powertrain, CO2 emissions are limited, starting at 93 g/km, which is outstanding in the category. That is in addition to the silence you enjoy in electric cars and the fact that you do not have to stop to charge the battery; many will welcome this, me included.
There are no less than15 advanced driver assistance systems for easier and safer driving than ever; divided into three families: Driving, Parking and Safety. The main ones include adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition with overspeed prevention and automatic emergency braking. This comprehensive set of driver assistance systems ranks this Renault among the safest cars in its category. Adaptive cruise control is one of the main features for stress-free driving and top-of-the-line safety, system keeps a safe following distance with the vehicle in front and activates the brakes when you get too close, and accelerates when the road is clear again Automatic emergency braking, which is also available as standard, which maximises safety by warning the driver of any dangerous situations and should the driver not react, the system puts the brakes on for the car automatically.
Clearly, the new model moves the Clio up a gear.