The Dutchman’s dramatic creation was considered so successful that the powerful aesthetic can still be appreciated almost a decade later in this new Clio. It uses similar LED headlights to those of the Mégane and features a more assertive front air intake, but fundamentally the new Clio remains true to the DeZir-inspired fourth-generation car, and it isn’t hard to see why.
However, in the details and at its core, this is very much a new car. Every panel is new, as is the CMF-B platform, which the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance has developed in common and with driver assistance systems and electrified powertrains in mind – and which the Clio gets the use of first. That means there will be a hybrid E-Tech Clio, due in 2020, with a plug-in hybrid also on the cards.
Along with the 22kg-lighter body-in-white, the new platform also contributes to a fall in weight compared with the old Clio. The new car is shorter than before – by only 14mm, and with a 6mm-shorter wheelbase – but after years of dimension inflation, it seems the ‘mini’ is being put back into ‘supermini’. A 6mm fall in height also does its demeanour no harm: the next RS Clio may well be pure-electric, or it may well use a detuned version of the 1.8-litre turbo from the Mégane RS, but if it isn’t an unusually attractive hot hatch, we’ll be amazed.