Three new sporty superminis make debuts at the Geneva show
4 March 2009

Renault has unveiled three new hot Clios at the Geneva motor show, including revised Renaultsport models.

The entry-level Clio GT is available as a three-door hatchback and with a choice of two engines, a 1.6-litre 16v with 126bhp (exclusive to the GT) and a diesel dCi with 104bhp. It gets its own specially tuned chassis with uprated springs and dampers, and the front anti-roll bar has been upped in size.

Prices for the GT are expected to kick off at around £13,000.

The revised Renaultsport Clio comes in two guises: the softer, more refined 200, and the 200 Cup, which Renault sources say is stiffer and more focused than the current car.

The 200 has been equipped for greater refinement and gets a bigger choice of extras. The 200 Cup is 36kg lighter than the 200, thanks to modified seat frames, wheels and transmission. Its wheelbase is extended by 10mm, front and rear tracks widened by 48mm and 50mm.

The Clio RS models also get ‘independent axis’ steering, which reduces torque steer and is said to be unique in the supermini class.

The 200 Cup chassis is another 7mm lower than the 200's, and has 10 per cent greater torsional rigidity and quicker steering.

Both cars are powered by the same 197bhp 2.0-litre engine, which delivers its peak power at 7300rpm. Modifications to the engine (including a new cylinder head, and continuously variable intake valve timing) have boosted torque by 20 per cent, but the Clio RS still returns an average of 198g/km of CO2.

The two Renaultsports – which are built at the Alpine factory in Dieppe - are expected to be priced at £15,500 and £16,500 respectively. All three models will go on sale in May.

Our Verdict

Renault Clio

A multi-talented contender that can stand comparison with the best superminis on the roads today, even if it isn't quite the best

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