After first seeing the all-new Renault Clio RS 200 at the 2013 Johannesburg International Motor Show, I was eager to try out the next generation of RenaultSport madness. The 2014 Renault Clio RS 200 is a completely different animal compared to its predecessors. Fast forward to 2014 and the fourth generation of Renault Clio has introduced turbocharging across the range.
This is the top-of-the-range Cup version (there's a marginally cheaper Lux version) and it looks fantastic.
Looks don't win races, so with the engine fired up I set off trying to see if this new version can match the heritage. I solved this problem by driving in full automatic mode, with the occasional manual override.
Leather bucket seats with heaters, USB, cruise control with speed limiter, daytime-running lights, three driving modes, climate control, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity and there's some really funky red seat belts are all fitted to the Renault Clio RS 200 Cup as standard. I can see what Renault wanted to do here and that's create a car which can be raced, yet be driven to work on a Monday morning without major compromises. The second generation Mercedes-Benz Vito is more streamlined than its predecessor, but more importantly is powered by a new range of engines and a rear-wheel drive (RWD) drivetrain. The angle of the windshield and A-pillar is closer to horizontal; the dashboard is bigger and the hood smaller.
The 2nd generation Vitos are all Euro 3 compliant (additionally Euro 4 compliant as of November 2006) and therefore exempt from the upcoming Low Emission Zone in London. The base model boasts a 0.9-litre three cylinder, but the RenaultSport derivative required something with a lot more punch.


The combination of Liquid yellow paint, 18-inch gloss black alloys, and a bodykit that screams racer results in the new Renault Clio RS 200 is one of the best looking pocket rockets around. The initial part of the test didn't go so well, with both the engine soundtrack and performance being average.
There's no chirping from the tyres, unless you're really pressing on, but I found the car felt incredibly planted to the tarmac and not once did it feel loose or uncompromised.
Line up next to any other hot hatch for a quick traffic light grand prix and you can take advantage of the car's built-in launch control. Don't be disheartened by the gearbox, it's not awful and I'm confident Renault is hard at work with an improved transmission or even a manual option. No expense has been spared and you're getting some seriously fancy toys fitted as standard. Unlike the old car, this one is a four-door and the rear seats are comfortable and spacious enough for adults. The new Renault Clio RS 200 is a thoroughly entertaining car, both in terms of looks and driving experience. You can lose the RS monitor, the 18-inch wheels and climate control and get the Lux for R294 900 if you think the Cup is just too much. The newer Vito is available in 3 different lengths and 4 diesel engine versions being the 109 cdi, the 111 cdi, the 115 cdi and the powerful 120 cdi. My last experience of this high-revving motor was in 2011, when I spent some quality time behind the wheel of the 2011 Renault Clio RS Gordini - a fun and enthusiastic machine. Pull both gearshift paddles towards you, 'Launch Control Engaged' appears on the instrument cluster, then mash your foot on the accelerator.


The infotainment features TomTom HD navigation complete with live traffic updates and fixed speed cameras warnings.
Few cars are as this hands on or this noisy and despite the imperfect gearbox, the car will put a smile on your face. The model numerics conform with the Mercedes pattern that relates to a rough guide to engine power output. A normal person couldn't make the most of its abilities on an every day basis and as a daily driver, it was poor.
For maximum attack push the RS Drive button, located in the middle console by the handbrake. The car builds the revs to around the 2 500 rpm mark, you release the brake when ready and off you go.
The manual gearbox has disappeared too, and in its place is Renault's new Efficient Dual Clutch (EDC) transmission.
The system will download your performance figures to a USB (in a folder called High Scores!) , you can upload race tracks, measure your G-forces, save lap times and even see data like turbo boost pressure and clutch temperature. Throttle responses were a lot sharper, there was much louder intake roar and gear changes were accompanied by some semi-rally car pops and bangs from the exhausts.



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