Clio 197 too much for you? Then Renault reckons it has the answer: the new Clio Dynamique S 138.
Powered by a two-litre engine producing 136bhp, the Dynamique S is designed to sit directly beneath 'warm hatches' like the Ford Fiesta ST and Peugeot 207 GT Turbo 1.6. The new engine produces 143lb ft of torque and is mated to a six-speed gearbox, resulting in a 0-60mph time of 8.5secs and a top speed of 127mph.
Standard kit includes air conditioning, 16in alloy wheels (in wider front wings), hands-free keycard, reach adjustable steering, part-leather upholstery, leather steering wheel, and front and rear carpet mats. There's also a Dynamique S 138-specific paint option - Nocturne, a deep purple. Five-door and automatic versions will be available in 2007.
The Clio 138 needs to be positioned well alongside the fabulous 197 and Renault thinks it's got its sums right - the new machine will cost £12,810 and sit in insurance group 9E when it hits UK showrooms in December. But if the Clio 138 tones down the 197's flair too much for you, then keep asking your Renault dealer about the GT version that's supposed to use the same engine but with 140-150bhp on tap, and feature more radical suspension and styling tweaks.