It’s a busy time of the year for Renault, with no fewer than nine new vehicles on the way in the coming months including Eco versions of the Scenic and Grand Scenic, an all-electric Kangoo Van and two new Clio Gordini’s (the dCi106 and 128hp petrol). We’ll be taking a look at some of these in more depth later, but in the meantime I got an early chance to give some of them a look at starting with…
Clio Expression Eco (3DR)
Low emissions, and excellent fuel consumption figures make the ‘Green’ Expression Clio a potentially wise investment in uncertain times. If you live in, or visit London regularly you won’t need to pay the Congestion Charge. The suspension is soft and the ride is nice and smooth, even if you venture out of town and go further up the speedo. Inside, the finish is minimal, durable and unfussy, while on the outside it looks friendly without being too girly.
It’s a great ‘city’ car that is better, but also slightly more expensive than most of the current competition.
Engine size: 1.461cc (diesel)
Max Power: 88hp DIN @3,750rpm Max Torque 200Nm @1,900rpm
Top Speed: 113mph
CO2 Emissions 94g/km
Combined MPG 78.4 (extra urban 88.3mpg, urban 65.7)
Insurance group 13E
Clio Renaultsport 200 Raider Limited Edition
One of only 50 individually numbered the Raider Limited edition has the lower ‘Cup chassis’, stiffer springs, 18″ Interlagos’ alloy wheels with 215/40 Bridgestone Potenza tyres). The electronic stability / understeer control keeps you on the straight and narrow (especially on corners, if that makes sense).
As you might expect the ride is a tad firmer than the usual, with excellent acceleration right across the gears. At traffic likes it leaves the shovel, well.. like you know what.
The general interior finish is pretty standard, but there are a number of nice touches. The white rev counter looks great, and the matt grey exterior with black gloss roof, make this one very stylish (and fast) car.
Engine size: 1.998cc
Max Power: 200hp DIN @7,100rpm Max Torque 215Nm @5,400rpm
Top Speed: 141mph
CO2 Emissions 190g/km
Combined MPG 34.5 (extra urban 43.5mpg, urban 25.2)
Insurance group 31E
Twingo Renaultsport 133 Silverstone GP Limited Edition
Another production limited to just fifty cars, while not quite matching up to the Clio Raider Edition for speed, the Twingo Renaultsport 133 Silverstone GP Limited Edition is about as fast a car as you would ever ‘need’ to drive in the UK (well, actually a lot faster). Gear changes are as smooth as silk and the 1.6 engine has a lovely throaty roar. The steering wheel is slightly too big but it doesn’t hamper overall control (which is spot on).
The interior is fairly basic and the front seats where a bit small for my liking (I am 6ft 3″), but this is a ‘drivers’ car, and it’s hard to think of many cars under £15,000 that are as much fun to drive.
Special edition features include Metallic Mercury silver paint, Renaultsport Exhaust, 17″ gloss black wheels, rear spoiler, various Silverstone GP badges and plaques, plus a day at the Renaultsport Trackday Experience thrown in for the price.
Engine size: 1.598cc
Max Power: 133hp DIN @5,500rpm Max Torque 160Nm @4,400rpm
0-62: 8.7 seconds
Top Speed: 125mph
CO2 Emissions 155g/km
Combined MPG 42.2 (extra urban 50.4mpg, urban 31.4)
Insurance group 22E
Mégane Renaultsport 265 Trophy
It’s not yellow, it’s ‘liquid yellow’. The Megane Renaultsport 265 trophy takes everything present in the limited edition Twingo and Clio Renaultsport cars and amplifies it by about times ten. It’s broken the lap record at Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit in Germany for a front-wheel drive production car. It beat the old record by 10 seconds and is the fast production car Renault have ever built.
As you would expect it is very quick, neck bracingly quick. Power though is nothing, (not too mention very dangerous) without control, and one of the Magane’s strengths is its ability to keep gripped on the road.
Limited-slip differential (LSD), Perfohub independent steering-axis front suspension and 19″ Bridgestone Potenza tyres keep you in a straight line when you put your foot down. These all work exceptional well when cornering at high speeds too.
It’s definitely not the sort of thing you should be buying your son for his seventeenth birthday, for many reasons. Apart from the obvious you would have to re-mortgage your house to afford the insurance.
Negatives – For a car that is nearly £30k the key is a bit plasticky, once again the interior is more functional than luxury, the stereo isn’t great either, and the cruise control is inconveniently positioned next to the handbrake.
If the yellow paint and matching seat belts are a bit ‘bananas’, if you ask them nicely they will also sell you one in ‘Diamond’ black.
If you can live with these limitations and can afford it, buy one.
Engine size: 1.998cc
Max Power: 265hp DIN @5,500rpm Max Torque 380Nm @3,000rpm
0-62: 6.0 seconds Top Speed: 158mph
CO2 Emissions 190g/km
Combined MPG 34.4 (extra urban 43.5mpg, urban 25.0)
Insurance group 36E
For more info visit www.renaultsport.co.uk