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Seductive by design, sensual by nature, Renault’s New Clio 4 is heir to one of the marque’s richest legacies.
Generation on generation, Clio has been celebrated as one of Renault’s quintessential top-selling cars with sales in excess of 12-million notched up since Clio I débuted at the Paris Motor Show in 1990. One year after its launch Clio I clinched the 1991 European Car of the Year title taking pole position again with Clio 3 in 2006. In South Africa, Clio 2 was awarded Car of the Year in 2000 with Clio 3, a Car of the Year finalist in 2006 and 2007.
Consistently ahead of its class rivals in terms of innovation since inception, Clio is renowned for its inclusion of technologies usually reserved for cars in upper segments. It was the first car in its category to obtain a four star, then a five star, Euro NCAP rating. First class reliability backed by independent as well as in-house research has been a cornerstone of each successive generation of Clio.
Continuing its legendary track record, New Clio has already scooped a number of accolades since launch in late 2012 including: 2012 Golden Steering Wheel Award in Germany for the Small Cars category, European Car of the Year Finalist 2013, Best Production Car of the 2012 Paris Motor Show, Top 3 Most Beautiful Car of 2012 Awards and the 2013 World Design Car of the Year Finalist.
Today, Renault has capitalised on the model’s hallmark strengths and everyday versatility to deliver the New Clio which seeks to win over customers thanks to its attractive blend of emotion, solid core strengths and some serious street cred.
Renault South Africa’s aim is to re-establish New Clio’s position within the B-segment and compete actively within and as part of the Top 5 segment performers. The European sales trend as at end-February 2013 shows promising result potential with New Clio taking second place as highest selling model (behind VW Golf) with sales up 17.5% on a year ago.
“The all-new Renault Clio 4 is in a class of its own,” says Fabien Payzan, Vice-President of Marketing at Renault South Africa. “Its seductive styling, all-new engine, smart and useful on-board technologies and much more, will position it streets ahead of its peers in the small car segment.
“We are anticipating a stampede by Clio aficionados, many of whom have delayed their new buying decisions until they have had sight of the much-awaited New Clio,” he adds.
NEW CLIO MAKES ITS MARQUE
Capitalising on the model’s hallmark strengths, the New Clio is sure to win over customers – new and old – thanks to its attractive blend of emotive styling borne out of the DeZir concept car revealed in 2012.
“Cars are not just for getting us around, they can also inspire dreams and desires”, says Laurens van den Acker, Renault Design Director. “From initial concept through to production, the sensual lines of New Clio have been focused on total seduction. It is so gorgeous that it makes you want to eat it.”
Wayne van der Merwe, Senior Product Manager at Renault South Africa concurs, describing New Clio as “a car that you want to get up close to and personal with.”
A meeting of fashionable and functional, the fourth generation New Clio remains the ‘small car with big car attributes’. In many instances, the new arrival is unparalleled in the small car (B-class) segment and much attention to detail has been paid to the on-board experience of its occupants. A host of rich and innovative features make their first appearance (as standard depending on the variant), each providing a decisive competitive advantage.
New Clio’s sporty, coupé-like silhouette is accentuated by the integrated rear door handles concealed close to the rear quarter lights while the ratio of wheel-size to vehicle-height has been fine-tuned to afford a more dynamic look. The lower ride-height benefits the car’s aerodynamics while pronounced shoulder lines make the fourth generation New Clio even more visually distinctive and appealing.
Style by design, New Clio is the embodiment of Renault’s new design rebirth which is simple, sensuous and warm. Three words which, thanks to the Renault engineering team’s skill in matching the vehicle to the design team’s original vision, make it a car high on emotion inside and out.
Front-end styling featuring a Renault logo more prominent than previously set bold and upright on the radiator grille against a gloss black background makes New Clio’s sleek, sporty silhouette instantly recognisable. Styling made more distinctive still by headlight units boasting chrome detail and LED daytime running lights which are standard across the range. While the exterior styling suggests coupé, all three variants have five doors with the rear door handles concealed close to the rear quarter lights.
Achieving balanced proportions was a priority throughout the design process and the ratio of wheel-size to vehicle-height has been fine-tuned to afford a more dynamic look. New Clio stands 1 448mm high, is 4 062mm in length, 1 732mm wide (excluding mirrors) and sits 45mm closer to the ground than its predecessor.
A steeply raked windscreen adds to its dynamic look and feel as does the improved one-third glass to two-thirds body ratio when New Clio is seen from the side. The lower ride-height gives it an assertive stance and is indicative of a strong personality. Its large-diameter wheels pushed 15mm outwards compared to previously, fill and finish flush with the wheel arches while pronounced but proportionate shoulder lines gives the newcomer substantial presence.
Modern, welcoming and ergonomic and with a dashboard sculpted to resemble an aircraft wing, one has the sensation of sitting in a cockpit. Designed to complement the exterior styling and with finely appointed details throughout the cabin, New Clio’s interior inspires strength and confidence combining beauty with functionality.
Features include an optimally positioned central interactive tablet console with a host of multimedia functions, a digital speedometer, the use of plush, high-tech materials throughout, comfortable seating and a combination of high-class inserts (dependant on the model) make for a modern, ergonomic design.
SMART TECHNOLOGY: MAKE YOUR LIFE EASIER
New Clio, like its predecessor, responds to market demands and sets new standards for generous onboard technology usually associated with larger cars. “Smart technology is evident at every turn while equipment levels for a car in its class are nothing short of astonishing,” says Van der Merwe.
All practical and easy-to-use, a host of up-to-the-minute multimedia bells and whistles, standard smart features include:
- Cruise control with speed limiter
- Bluetooth connectivity for audio streaming
- Hands-free telephony
- USB connectivity
- Onboard computer
- The new Bass Reflex sound system
- Motorway touch indicators
- Renault keycard
- Hill Start Assist
All versions of New Clio are equipped with a new smart sound system integrated into the front doors’ loudspeakers. Known as Renault Bass Reflex, this system delivers the volume and listening enjoyment of a 30-litre home speaker enclosure. Occupants are sure to appreciate this technology which delivers more powerful bass frequencies, while at the same time pushing back saturation and distortion thresholds. The system is based on the use of vents – or ports – in the enclosure and its application is a world first for the automotive industry.
“The upper versions of New Clio are the first and only cars in their segment to offer navigation as standard,” adds Van der Merwe. “The two versions boast an onboard, integrated MEDIA NAV system which, built into the centre console, provides all the basic multimedia functions at your fingertips. It incorporates the Nav N Go navigation with 2D and 3D (birdview) display and the USB port and dedicated web interface make it easy to update NAVTEQ maps. Thanks to its seven-inch (18cm) touchscreen colour display, it is intuitive to use.”
PERFECT BALANCE BETWEEN PERFORMANCE AND EFFICIENCY: THE NEW 66KW TURBO PETROL ENGINE
With 110 years of powertrain engineering excellence under Renault’s belt in tandem with the pioneering spirit inherent to its DNA, technological expertise derived from its involvement in Formula 1 since 1977 (when Renault was first to introduce the turbo-charger) is now being transferred to road engines.
“With the market shift towards engine downsizing for economy and ecological reasons alike, Renault’s development of its Energy engine range has addressed this trend and New Clio breaks ground with its introduction of the 66kW Turbo engine with Stop Start technology,” says Yorick Duchaussoy, Project Leader for the Powertrain Division at Renault Global.
“The Renault Turbo Control Efficiency engine line-up is a direct result of Renault’s technology transfer capabilities and prowess, and is fuelled by the new-generation trend towards engine downsizing. Down in size does not mean down in power.”
Renault’s first turbo-charged, 3-cylinder petrol engine, the all-aluminium 66kW Turbo boasts performance equivalent to that of a normally-aspirated 1.4 litre 4-cylinder engine offering the best balance between driving enjoyment and fuel consumption efficiency in its category.
Designed and developed by Renault Engineering at Rueil-Malmaison in France, the cutting-edge 3-cylinder 66kW Turbo petrol unit completes the overhaul of the Group’s petrol engine range. Boasting the best driving enjoyment/fuel economy equation on the market, no sacrifice is made to driving pleasure despite a 25% reduction in its cubic capacity.
“While Renault’s focus on the advancement of engine technology is keen, the company is committed to making strategic and commercial choices in favour of ecological balance. While the performance and practicality of its 66kW Turbo engine is powerful, the reduction in fuel usage, CO2 emissions and overall life-cycle cost is significant,” adds Duchaussoy.
INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGICAL ENGINE DEVELOPMENTS
Thanks to Renault’s engineering excellence and expertise in powertrain development, the new 66kW Turbo engine boasts amazing power and torque for a low capacity engine with unparalleled flexibility, agility and high drivability.
- A very low inertia turbo for quick response at low engine revs: 135Nm at 2 500rpm (90 percent of this figure available from 1 650rpm to ensure good pick-up, acceleration, responsiveness and driving enjoyment);
- Peak power output measured at 66kW at 5250rpm;
- Aluminium engine block and cylinder head (15kg weight saving compared with equivalent cast iron block);
- Ultra light camshafts: The camshafts are hollow tubes further contributing to the engine’s weight saving;
- The camshaft timing control adopts a scavenging strategy that controls valves at low engine speeds which, together with VVT (variable valve timing), improves responsiveness; and
- Thermo-management optimises the heating and cooling of the engine for improved performance.
F1 TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER MEETS ROAD CARS
The tools and talents used by Renault to develop smaller, lighter and more fuel efficient engines for F1 and to develop new technology power plants for production car engines are one and the same. That downsizing is the way forward is already being demonstrated on the F1 stage where performance and efficiency are tested to their limits.
Key F1 transfer features include:
- High Tumble Strategy: Thanks to hard work on internal engine aerodynamics, flow of the fuel mix inside the combustion chamber is optimised for fast, stable combustion; the air turns quicker in the chamber (x 2 on average) which allows near instantaneous combustion.
- Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) coated cam followers & Graphite-Coated piston-skirts are high-tech surface treatments with low friction coefficients used in F1
- Turbo Technology first introduced in F1 in 1977
ECO Drive TECHNICAL ENHANCEMENTS
New Clio also comes with a range of efficient solutions designed to help drivers’ reduce their fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. To optimise fuel economy, ‘ECO’ mode can be activated at the push of a button reducing fuel consumption by up to10 per cent. This engine produces 66kW and 135Nm of torque at 5 250rpm. A Stop Start system with energy recovery under braking allows for a fuel consumption figure of 4.5-litres/100km and a CO2 emissions figure of just 105g/km.
Other technical innovations to enhance performance and efficiency include the fitment of active flaps positioned in front of the radiator (certain versions only). “New Clio is the first B-segment car to employ this technique which helps to reduce fuel consumption by adjusting the flow of air through the radiator (which generates drag) as a function of the cooling needs of the moment,” explains Payzan. “In addition, New Clio has shed up to 100kg versus the previous generation.”
In this way, the car’s drag is permanently optimised to minimise fuel consumption. Under normal running conditions or in fast-flowing traffic (on a motorway for example), closure of the flaps permits a fuel saving of approximately 0.1 litres/100km at a stable speed of 130kph.
Fuel consumption and efficiency features include:
- Dialled-in low running costs: careful tuning and new technologies to enable an optimised version with taller gear ratios for fuel consumption of 4.5 litres/100km and CO2 emissions of 105g/km, a saving of up to 21%.
- Stop Start Technology = zero emission, zero consumption when stationary + fast restart.
- Energy Smart Management (ESM): recovers the kinetic energy produced by the vehicle when decelerating / braking via the alternator and stores it in the battery. The electrical consumers (heating, lighting, radio, etc.) are then powered directly by the battery and have a low impact on fuel consumption. The stored energy is also used to restart the vehicle. (These two systems reduce CO2 per km emissions by 6 per cent on average.)
- The lifetime timing chain on the 66kw Turbo engine requires no maintenance.
- Controlled oil pump: the variable capacity pump stabilises the flow in the pump in order to limit the energy losses and reduces consumption.
- Carefully-tuned engine noise and minimised vibrations: thanks to detailed acoustic tuning, the note of the 66kw Turbo engine resembles that of a six-cylinder engine under acceleration, is quiet at cruising speeds and offers added comfort thanks to the near-total absence of vibrations.
- Power Output: The 66kw Turbo’s power output matches the performance of a 1.4 litre 4-cylinder normally aspirated petrol engine and offers remarkable fuel efficiency, consumption and reduced CO2 emissions whilst affording outstanding quality and reliability.
THE RANGE: DRIVING PLEASURE, ON-BOARD COMFORT AND SOUND QUALITY
Renault’s New Clio line-up comes in three variants with the mid Expression and upper Dynamique models powered by the new 3-cylinder 66kW Turbo petrol engine:
- the chic entry level 55kW Authentique 5-door
- the upgraded 66kW Turbo Expression 5-door
- and the top-of-the-range sporty 66kW Turbo Dynamique 5-door which boasts all the bells and whistles
Class-leading standard equipment across the trio includes:
- Emergency Brake Assist (EBA)
- Hill Start Assist
- Cruise control / speed limiter
- Driver, passenger and side (head/chest-level) airbags
- On-board computer
- LED daytime running lights
- Electric defrosting wing mirrors
- Electric front windows
- Manual air conditioning (optional in Authentique; standard in Expression and Dynamique)
- Height-adjustable driver’s seat
- Height- and depth-adjustable steering wheel
- 1/3 – 2/3 split-fold rear bench seat
- Renault Bass Reflex System
- Bluetooth connectivity for audio streaming
- Hands-free telephony
- USB and AUX input Jack
- Emergency spare wheel
The sassy 66kW Turbo Expression takes the Authentique to the next level with additional cosmetic and functional benefits combining simplicity with enhanced features. The new MEDIA NAV multimedia system with 7” touchscreen incorporating integrated navigation, Bluetooth telephony, USB, audio streaming and RDS radio for an intuitive, practical and user-friendly driving experience. Decked with 16” alloys, front fog lights, leather steering and gear lever, the 66kW Turbo Expression is a stylish all-in-one value for money package.
Representing the flagship of the New Clio range, the 66kW Turbo Dynamique defines sporting lifestyle with discerning taste. Tailored features include the Renault hands-free keycard, auto rain and light sensors and rear electric windows. Accessories are everything though, and the 66kW Dynamique makes a bold statement with 17” alloys, glossy black and chrome interior and exterior detailing, making it impossible to ignore. For those who wish to go one step further, optional extras include a fixed sunroof, automatic climate control and rear parking sensors.
SAFETY: A PRIORITY BEYOND PRICE
“As always with Renault, on-board safety is paramount – irrespective of pricing or class segment,” says Payzan. “From the entry level Clio 55kW Authentique and upgraded 66kW Turbo Expression to the top-of-the-range 66kW Turbo Dynamique, the on-board safety equipment and features are the same.”
Renault Clio was the first car in its class to obtain a four star, then a five star EuroNCAP rating. To guarantee even more effective occupant protection, New Clio’s electronic architecture was designed to ensure that the latest-generation protective systems are triggered even sooner and the result was the 5-star EuroNcap Best-in-Class status for New Clio.
EuroNcap ranked New Clio “2012 Car of the Year” in the city cars category. With five stars and an overall scoring of 85%, New Clio is at the top of its segment and obtained the maximum score for the first three of the four evaluation criteria: child protection, pedestrian protection, safety equipment and adult protection, beating the Ford Fiesta which scored 78.3%.
For enhanced safety and driving pleasure, all New Clio engines incorporate Hill Start Assist connected to an ESP system which is standard across the range and represents a unique offering in the segment.
Additional active safety features include ASR traction control, ABS, EBD and EBA as well as electric variable-rate power steering and cruise control/speed limiter. New features are the ‘motorway-mode’ indicators which are an extremely practical feature that produce three flashes of the indicator when preparing to overtake by lightly moving the indicator stalk.
New Clio is an entirely keyless car. The key is replaced by an electronic card (depending on equipment level) which locks and unlocks the doors and permits the engine to be started without the driver removing the card from his or her pocket, bag or wallet for example.
In the event of a head-on impact, New Clio’s occupants are protected by four high-efficiency airbags – two front and two side airbags – as well as by seat belts equipped with pretensioners and load limiters. The rear seats are also equipped with an anti-submarining hump and three three-point seat belts with load limiter.
Thanks to the overall design of its structure and to the availability of three-point ISOFIX child seat anchorage for the front passenger seat and outer rear seats, New Clio’s child protection rating figures are among the very best in the B segment.
Meanwhile, Fix4sure technology is a Renault innovation that has been developed to combat submarining (whereby passengers slide beneath their seat belt in a head-on impact). All occupants of a New Clio are now protected against this phenomenon thanks to a special hump in each seat cushion as well as by the low position of the seat belt buckles.
INDUSTRY LEADING WARRANTY
As is the case across Renault’s entire product range, the three New Clio variants come standard with a 5-year/150 000km mechanical warranty, a 3-year/45 000km service plan and a 6-year anti-corrosion warranty.
- Clio 4 – 55kW Authentique 5-door R149 900
- Clio 4 – 66kW Turbo Expression 5-door R169 900
- Clio 4 – 66kW Turbo Dynamique 5-door R179 900
- Manual air-conditioning: R10 000 (Authentique)
- Fixed glass roof: R 8 000 (Expression& Dynamique)
- Climate control: R 5 000 (Dynamique)
- Rear park assist: R 2 000 (Dynamique)
- Metallic paint: R 2 500 (Range)
“The New Clio is the flagship of Renault’s Design Renaissance strategy inspired by the brand’s global signature – Drive the Change – which encapsulates the people-centric ethos of the Renault brand and its vision going forward,” concludes Payzan.
“A tailored, innovative and head-turning vehicle, the New Renault Clio is the car you are going to fall in love with!”