Providing you are registered with www.renaultsport.co.uk, the Clio Renaultsport 197 is now available to order. The website launch comes ahead of the official May 30th pre-order date, to reward Renault fans.
The result of a Euro 29million investment, the 197 is priced at £15,995 with group 15E insurance, 194bhp and 159lb ft of torque.
The purist may be disappointed that this third generation sports Clio may have become a little tubby with air conditioning, electric windows, cruise control, CD player and key card entry all as standard. Nevertheless, the 197 is quicker than the 182 it replaces, taking 6.9 seconds to reach 62mph.
The 182-sourced 2.0-litre unit has received a redesigned variable valve timing system, which should improve driveability at all speeds. The rear diffuser produces enough downforce to render the requisite hot hatch spoiler unnecesary. It also helps high-speed stability, as does the extended wheelbase. Those front arch air vents aren’t just for show either – they help air flow quickly through the engine bay.
Safety is a Renault selling-point and the 197 comes with eight airbags and Electronic Brake Distribution as standard. There is also elecronic stability control, which you will be able to turn off.