Since the model launch in 1990, 11.5 million Clios have been sold in more than 115 countries. Obviously Malaysia is not one of the more significant countries in supplying to that sales figure but there are some favourable aspects about the latest fourth generation Clio which was revealed yesterday. Renault will be having the hatchback’s official launch only during the Paris Motor Show in September so the details we have now are still preliminary.
Ok, so the important issue first. Engine power is now so dependent on how close the manufacturer want to stick to emission regulation; knock it out of the park and the engine will probably be future proof but if it’s too on the edge then it will live precariously (take the K20 for example. The R version led to the FD2R’s death). Basically it will feature new Energy engines, namely the Energy TCe90 (petrol) and the Energy dCi 90 (diesel).
For the latter, the inline 4 cylinder 1.5 litre diesel burner produces 90bhp (at 4000rpm) and torque at 220Nm which kicks in at 1750rpm. The engine will feature Stop/Start technology which will help to deliver the Renault-claimed consumption of 3.2 litres per 100km and 83g/km of CO2.
The TCe 90 meanwhile is a 3 cylinder turbocharged 900cc petrol engine, Renault’s first ever in that cylinder count and purposely designed to deliver the performance of a 1.4 litre mill. It also features an ultralow-inertia turbo charger which produces 90 per cent of peak torque at just 1650rpm; maximum torque is 135Nm at 2500rpm. Peak power is 90bhp at 5000rpm. Fuel consumption is at 4.3 litres / km, equivalent to CO2 emission of 99g/km.
There is another engine which is currently undergoing homologation and available in mid-2013. It’s called the TCe 120, a 4 cylinder 1.2 litre engine with direct injection and turbocharger producing 120bhp and 190Nm of torque from 1750rpm. This engine will be mated to a six-speed EDC (Efficient Dual Clutch) box; the same transmission will go to the dCi 90 engine in the first half of 2013.
Other major steps to improve the car’s green stature is the ECO mode (helping tocut fuel consumption by 10 per cent; a driving style monitor (green, yellow or orange) and a Gear Shift Indicator on the dashboard and the Driving eco² app available through Renault R-Link to provide drivers with a full suite of information.
But what is this R-Link? It is basically an integrated tablet connected to the car and the internet. It is available as an option and via a wide18cm (7 inch) touchscreen connects the car and its occupants to the outside world. The system also accepts voice commands. Driving eco² mentioned before accesses the car’s systems and analyses the driver’s behaviour in the quest for improving fuel consumption.
And just like a smart phone, Renault R-Link can expand its functions once the ‘Paris Incubateurs’ (a Paris-based hot house for young talent) start to coming out with more apps. Together with TomTom® Live and the Coyote app, the driver can even be alerted to dangerous situations. The French is not above being a corny too – the Renault R-sound Effect can simulate six different engine sound profiles that are perfectly synchronised with the car’s speed and acceleration.
Renault has confirmed that the new fourth generation Clio will be assembled in France and Turkey. This writer’s main interest in the Clio is that it will be the platform for the Clio RS. You see, we love that car. And so far, Renault a few days ago have confirmed that the Clio RS will not come with a manual gearbox.