Details of two new hot hatch additions to Renault showrooms have just been confirmed. The 145kW Renaultsport Clio 197 will set you back $36,490, plus on roads. Renault’s other new hatched crusader, the 125kW diesel powered Renaultsport Megane dCi 175, starting at $39,990, will go head to head with Volkswagen’s Golf GT TDI.
The Clio 197 is fitted standard with model specific 17â€ alloys wheels, leather steering wheel, aluminium pedals, trip computer and cruise control. If you feel like ticking a few options boxes you can have xenon headlights for $1750. A sunroof will cost you $1890. You can also upgrade to a 6 stack in dash CD player for another $800 and metallic paint will set you back the same amount.
A reasonably comprehensive alphabet of safety features are also included standard, including ESP and eight airbags. According to EuroNCAP testing the Clio III has a five star safety rating.
The Megane dCi 175 has a 2.0-litre, common-rail heart pumping out 127kW (175hp) thanks to a turbocharger giving some extra herbs. Maximum torque is 360Nm and available from 2,000rpm. Renault claim dCi 175 is “an engaging blend of luxury, effortless performance and race-bred engineering”. Given their track record with the Renaultsport Megane and previous Clio models, well, who are we to argue. To that end the dCi features the “cup” suspension and Brembo brakes found on the widely acclaimed petrol powered Megane 225.
Full release follows below.
Renault Sport Hot Hatch Range Heats Up
Renault Australia can now lay claim to having one of the most comprehensive range of â€˜hot hatchesâ€™ on the market with the addition of two new models to the Renault Sport range.
Clio Renault Sport 197
Performance, passion and driving pleasure were all key priorities for Renault Sport engineers when they started work on the Clio Renault Sport 197. The result is a car engineered to set pulses running.
Engine and Transmission
Designed by Renault Sport in association with Renaultâ€™s powertrain engineering department, the Clio Renault Sport 197â€™s normally aspirated, 1998cc, 4-cylinder, 16 valve powerplant generates 145kW (197hp) at 7,250rpm and 215Nm of torque at 5,550rpm.
Based on the unit which powered the renowned Clio II Renault Sport 182, it boasts a specific power output of almost 100hp per litre, offering exceptional performance.
The 2.0 engine is mated to a new six-speed manual gearbox, this powerful, responsive engine offers first-class sports performance and driving pleasure.
The Clio 197 can accelerate from 0-100kmh in 6.9 seconds.
The 197â€™s uprated power and torque figures stem from numerous modifications and optimisations to the powertrain. As in Formula One, optimised intake and exhaust port length and profiling have resulted in an evolution of inlet acoustics to a volumetric efficiency of over 100%. Extensive work has also gone into the valve seat aerodynamics, facilitating the optimum intake of additional air and the smoothest possible flow of gases. The calibration of the camshaft has also been modified to increase valve lift from 9mm to 11.5 mm, creating a longer, wider valve aperture. And the design of both combustion chamber and piston head has resulted in a particularly high compression ratio of 11.5:1, facilitating enhanced combustion for higher performance allied to lower emissions.
Continuously variable valve timing improves performance at all engine speeds by varying the camshaft angle to optimise valve operation. At low revs and engine speeds below 5,000rpm, the 197 offers a smooth, tractable power delivery perfectly adapted to every day motoring. At higher revs, the full capabilities of this remarkable powerplant are released, offering unparalleled performance appropriate to the carâ€™s true sporting heritage.
Renault Sport Technologiesâ€™ engineers have paid particular attention to the creation of a signature engine note appropriate to the 197â€™s pedigree. From a discreet pitch at low revs, the engine note builds through the rev range, ultimately producing its trademark â€˜barkâ€™ as the 7,250rpm red line approaches. To prevent boom at certain engine speeds, the steel crankshaft features eight counterweights to improve both rigidity and balance, reducing friction and parasitic vibrations under operation. Soundproofing to the reinforced subframe and specific floor areas further minimises boom and underfloor exhaust noise, whilst the 3Y-type exhaust manifold itself offers an excellent compromise between acoustic performance, power and low emissions.
The spare wheel well has been replaced by an exhaust silencer housing with a streamlined, flat panel under-cover, whilst the dual exhausts themselves are flush fitted within the outer channels of the diffuser to ensure minimal aerodynamic interference with the system.
Designed and Engineered For Performance
The dimensions of the 197 chassis have been modified compared with those of Clio III, including a longer wheelbase and wider front and rear tracks. A double-axis strut system and aluminium components for greater driving precision completes the package.
The wider front and rear wings, lowered stance, profiled side skirts and semi-rigid under-bumper splitter combine with the extractor vents and diffuser to assert the 197’s advanced aerodynamic engineering and sports heritage.
On a wheelbase lengthened by 10mm and with an increase in track width of 48mm to the front and 50mm to the rear, the 197 features a substantially revised Renault Sport suspension system, with a ride height 15mm lower than that of a standard Clio III.
To the front, an innovative, double-axis strut set-up with numerous aluminium components is not only 7.5kg lighter than a comparable MacPherson strut system, but also, through entirely divorcing the steering axis from the damping system, completely removes any hint of torque steer. To the rear, the stiffness of the programmed deflection torsion beam system has been uprated by 25%, and the anti-roll bar increased in diameter from 10 to 30mm.
The subframe is the same as that used by the MÃ©gane Renault Sport 225, and includes transverse strengthening for improved front-end rigidity. The front subframe bushes and rear suspension mountings have been stiffened, as have the upper front shock absorber mountings.
The generously-dimensioned tyres (215/45) and 17-inch light alloy wheels which barely conceal the Brembo brake calipers and big discs that ensure powerful and durable stopping performance.
Formula 1-derived aerodynamics
The aerodynamics of Clio Renault Sport 197 have benefited from extensive development work. In addition to front wing extractor vents, the new car features a groundbreaking first for this type of vehicle in the form of a rear air diffuser.
The diffuser’s purpose is to prevent rear-end lift and maintain stability at high speed by channeling air flow in such a way to increase the suction effect. The radius of the diffuser’s curve is engineered to create a zone of low pressure beneath the car.
The downforce generated by the diffuser means there is no need for a rear spoiler to counter the phenomenon of lift.
For optimal stability, the system reduces lift by a factor of three and produces the equivalent of 40kg of rear downforce at very high track speeds without detracting from the car’s carefully honed aerodynamics designed to achieve a low CdA.
The 197 interior trim echoes the car’s exterior styling. Interior highlights include aluminium pedals and perforated-leather steering wheel with red centre-point stitching.
Designed and positioned for optimal clarity, the instruments feature white data on a black background. The rev counter incorporates a gear-change indicator light, while the size of the figures increases as the needle gets closer to the red zone at 7,500rpm.
The overriding dark charcoal colour scheme is offset by the chrome-zinc centre console and dashboard inserts which echo technology and sports performance.
The 197â€™s Renault Sport seats have been designed to offer outstanding comfort combined with the highly effective lateral support appropriate to the carâ€™s dynamic abilities.
As with all Renault Sport Technologies developed models, the exclusive Renault Sport logo appears on the instrument backgrounds, door sills and front seats.
Safety and Performance Combined
As youâ€™d expect from the only company to have garnered a maximum five Euro NCAP crash test stars for eight of its cars, the 197 further benefits from no less than eight airbags. New generation height adjustable front headrests, integrated seatbelt pretensioners and load limiters, ABS with Electronic Brake Distribution and a disconnectable sports-tuned ESP stability control system are also standard.
Equipment and Options
Standard equipment on the Clio Renault Sport 197 includes: 17â€ Renault Sport alloy wheels, leather steering wheel with red stitched centreband (rake adjustable), electric windows, drilled aluminium pedals, multi-function trip computer, Cruise control (with speed limiter), 30W AM/FM radio with single CD 60/40 split folding rear seats.
In addition to the high levels of standard features a number of options are also available: Metallic paint ($800), Xenon lights ($1750), 4x40w AM/FM stereo with dash-mounted 6-CD stacker ($800), Panoramic electric glass sunroof ($1890)
Recommended Retail Price* and Warranty
The recommended retail price the Clio Renault Sport 197 is $36,490.00.
All Renault Sport models are covered by a 3 year/100,000km warranty.
Megane Renault Sport dCi 175
Powered by a turbo-charged, 2.0-litre, common-rail 127kW (175hp) diesel powerplant that boasts a generous maximum torque of 360Nm available from 2,000rpm the new Megane Renault Sport dCi 175 is an engaging blend of luxury, effortless performance and race-bred engineering.
In addition to its outstanding performance credentials its combined cycle fuel consumption of just 6.3 litres/100km keeps running costs to a minimum.
In keeping with other Renault Sport Technologies-engineered models, MÃ©gane Renault Sport dCi’s chassis delivers rewarding sports performance.
Renault has fitted its existing top-end 2.0 dCi diesel to the chassis originally developed for the petrol-powered Megane Renault Sport 2.0T 225.
The diesel powerplant develops 127kW (175hp) at 3,750rpm and 360Nm of torque at 2,000rpm and, in terms of breadth, its operational power band is comparable with that of a turbocharged petrol engine.
This engine is packed with advanced technology, including a variable geometry turbocharger which provides a wide spread of torque throughout the rev range. Piezoelectric injectors are capable of operating up to five times per cycle, which helps reduce engine noise, fuel consumption and particulate emissions.
Coupled to a six-speed manual gearbox, and with a combined cycle fuel economy of 6.3 litres/100km and CO2 emissions of just 165g/km.
Beneath the skin youâ€™ll find the underpinnings of the petrol-powered MÃ©gane Renault Sport 2.0 Turbo and the â€˜cup chassisâ€™ suspension blends dynamic handling with the kind of comfort everyday driving demands.
Independent steering-axis front suspension guarantees precise and efficient handling in all circumstances, while body movement is minimized by a 20mm-diameter anti-roll bar. The front suspension has also been tuned to suit MÃ©gane Renault Sport dCiâ€™s characteristics and weight distribution. Spring stiffness and damper settings are consequently specific to this diesel version.
The rear suspension is based around a programmed-deflection flexible beam, the torsional stiffness of which is equivalent to that of the cup chassis version of Megane Renault Sport 2.0T 225.
The suspension components themselves are identical to those employed on the Sport chassis Megane Renault Sport 2.0T 225.
Powerful and fade-free, the Brembo braking system features four discs that are impressive in terms of both diameter (312mm and ventilated at the front, 300mm at the rear) and thickness (28mm at the front, 11mm at the rear). The front discs are also equipped with four-piston calipers. (NB – The 225 hatch is fitted with drilled discs, these are not available on the dCi 175)
The 18â€ alloy wheels run 225/40R18 tyres
The electronically variable power steering has been set up specifically to suit the carâ€™s weight distribution.
In terms of active safety, MÃ©gane Renault Sport dCi is fitted as standard with a dynamic electronic stability programme (ESP) which has also been set up to suit the carâ€™s particular characteristics. Passive safety features are the same as those on any other MÃ©gane â€“ a five-star performer in EuroNCAP crash tests.
Dual front airbags and dual curtain airbags, front and rear side airbags are also standard.
Externally, MÃ©gane Renault Sport dCi is identical to the petrol version (without the rear spoiler) and is only available in five-door form only.
High Feature Levels
The specification level of the dCi 175 is almost identical to its petrol powered 225 sibling.
Standard features include: a leather trimmed interior, leather trimmed steering wheel and gear knob, aluminium pedals, climate control air conditioning, automatic xenon headlights, six-stack in-dash CD player with satellite controls, rain sensing wipers, cruise control (with speed limiter), electric windows and door mirrors and front and rear fog lights.
All Renault Sport models are covered by a 3 year/100,000km warranty.
Recommended Retail Price*
The recommended retail price for the Megane Renault Sport dCi 175 is $39,990.
Metallic paint, at $800, is the only option available.
(*Excludes dealer delivery, stamp duty and on-road costs)