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 with.
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 annoying.
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.
If 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 remodeled 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.