Even before it was confirmed, we were lamenting the loss of soul Renault had stripped from the new Clio RS. Back then it was thought there were no hopes of a Clio Williams revival either. However, that’s since changed and one of the best examples of an F1-inspired hot hatch is back on the agenda.
It’s expected the Clio Williams will go on sale in 2014 with an official confirmation possible later this year. An extra 20hp is predicted to be found lurking inside the Clio’s 1.6 litre turbo four cylinder, for a new peak of 220hp.
Even though the new Clio RS is yet to hit the streets, the addition of a Williams badge should usher in a harder edge to the hot hatch’s handling and general road manner. All of a sudden, the flappy paddle EDC transmission may even begin to make sense.
Interestingly, the original 1993 Clio Williams was created by Renault alone and the Williams stickers were added on the back of Nigel Mansell’s 1992 F1 world championship. Perhaps, this time around, Williams F1 may play an active role in the car’s development in return for a sweeter deal on its Renault F1 engines.