2016 Renault Clio RS 200 Cup Road Test and Review.
The 2016 Renault Clio RS 200 Cup is a manic hot hatch that is loads of fun even though it does have a few, forgivable shortcomings.
It looks rather menacing. Daytime running lights, the low ride height and subtle body kit look the part. The test car came in all black…black body, black tinted windows and black wheels, which just added to its bad attitude.
With a 1.6 litre turbocharged engine producing 147 kilowatts and 240nM, and with standard launch control, the little Renault Clio RS will blast to 100 kilometres an hour in 6.7 seconds.
It’s hooked up to a six speed dual clutch gearbox, that can be a bit jerky at slower speeds; but it blasts through the gears at a surprising rate as you pile on speed, and equally, it isn’t afraid to jump back two or even three cogs if you really bury the right foot for overtaking.
The soundtrack is great, producing a few crackles and pops when you lift off the throttle, and while it’s not the nosiest car around, as the revs rise, so does the intensity of the scream.
The Renault Clio RS 200 Cup is tenacious in the corners with staggering levels of grip, and it encourages you to go hard.
Wrench on the steering wheel on a good road, and the Clio complies with clinical levels of precision. It’s as if it’s on rails…yes, it’s an old cliché, but appropriate for the Clio.
The cost is a fairly harsh ride. You’ll discover potholes and imperfections in the road surface that you’d normally need a magnifying glass to see…and avoid corrugated dirt roads all together unless you’re looking for an appointment with an orthopaedic surgeon.
There’s plenty of feedback sent through the steering wheel, it’s communicative, responsive and exactly right for this style of car. Hit a bump mid corner though and you’ll know about it. And with all the power being sent through the front wheels you’ll cop a bit of torque steer too, but it kind of adds to the fun.
Speaking of fun, the launch control system is a hoot. Hit the RS button, pull back both paddles behind the steering wheel, put your left foot on the brake and with your right foot mash the throttle till the revs get to 2,400rpm…release the brake, then bang, you’re off like a rocket. It’s totally addictive!
Fuel economy is respectable; I averaged 8.2 litres of premium unleaded per 100km. The Clio gets full marks for safety – a five star ANCAP rating.
The Clio isn’t a big car, but there’s plenty of room in the front. The back seat is small, and front seats need to be moved forward to even get kids in, but the boot provides a surprising amount of space.
Visibility is ok, hampered a little by the big swoopy A pillars.
The driving position is easily adjusted, and the unique instrument cluster provides everything you need. The central touch screen controls the standard sat-nav and audio system, and once you find the volume and telephone controls on a stalk hidden behind the steering wheel, they too work intuitively.
The front seats are a real highlight, comfortable and well bolstered to hold on to you in the fast corners, and with the black fabric and red piping, complemented by the bright red seatbelts, they really look the part too.
It can get a bit of a thrashy note right up near the rev limiter, and you’ll notice a few vibrations in the cabin here and there. The lack of a reverse camera or even parking sensors is disappointing, but there’s so much to love…
It’s manic, always raring to go, and you find yourself more often than not driving it that little bit harder…revving it closer to the red line and taking corners with more pace than normal.
It’s thoroughly entertaining, oh so stylish and genuinely quick. It has a bad boy, rock star like attitude…if Charlie Sheen were a car, he’d probably be a Renault Clio RS 200 Cup. And that’s reason enough to put it on your shopping list.
NUTS and BOLTS – Renault Clio RS 200 Cup
Engine: 1.6 litre turbo-petrol developing 147kW and 240Nm
Transmission: Six-speed dual-clutch automatic
Safety: Five stars
Warranty: Three years
Price: from $33,000