Renault has decided to present a concept car to celebrate its return to F1 and the 40 anniversary of Renault Sport. The car that was chosen for the celebration was the Clio, but a much improved one. In a matter of 5 months, Renault has managed to put the 2.0 turbocharged petrol engine that powers the Mégane R.S. 275 Trophy-R under its hood, as well as adapting its gearbox, front brakes, suspension parts and the cooling system to its smaller sibling. That effort resulted in the Clio R.S. 16 Concept. Or KZ01, as it was codenamed for development.
While the regular Clio RS is 4.06 m long, 1.73 m wide, 1.45 m tall and has a wheelbase of 2.59 m, the Clio R.S. 16 is 60 mm wider, or 1.79 m wide. It also features 19-inch wheels and a dual exhaust pipe from Akrapovič. The front brakes are the same 350 mm disks that can be found on the Mégane R.S. 275 Trophy-R, as well as the front axle with independent pivot arm. The rear axle of the Clio R.S 16 is the same one used by the Clio R3T Rally car, which also lends the Clio R.S. 16 its rear spoiler, as you can see in the video below.
The 2.0 turbocharged petrol engine generates 202 kW and 360 Nm of torque. In terms of power, it may not seem as such a revolution over the Clio RS (147 kW), but when it comes to torque (240 Nm), there is no way not to praise the improvement.
Two cars were used for the development: the black one, for running tests, and the yellow one, for the official presentation not only at the Monaco Grand Prix, but also at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, from June 23 to June 26.
Renault has also released a crude version of the video above, one in which it is possible to hear the glorious roar of the new hot hatch. It is worth watching it just to check the sound, even if it sound repetitive.
Renault has named the car as a concept, but why would a concept need to be road legal as the Clio R.S. 16? We hope the company decides to produce it, even if in a little quantity. This car deserves to be sold.