It’s not every day that I get to test a car that I instantly take a liking to. The new Renault Clio RS, on the other hand, is exactly the sort of car that I love getting my hands on. There’s so much appeal in this little hot hatch – from its spunky shape, sporty lines, fantastic, strange angles and eye-catchingly bright metallic yellow paintwork to its slick interior, with trendy red trim and shiny finishes. I couldn’t wait to drive it.
And I wasn’t disappointed either. Suprisingly, the Clio RS comes with an automatic transmission only – strange when you consider it’s aimed at the hot-headed youth market. Fully expecting a dull drive, I was pleasantly surprised to find the driving experience anything but. When cold, the gearbox is sluggish and the car vacillates between gear selections – sounding at times quite laboring. However, after warming up, I found the power delivery to be instant and gutsy.
There’s a delicious roar from the twin exhausts as you put your foot down and a smooth transition up through all 6 gears (despite 2nd to 3rd being a tad short in my opinion). In town, the Clio RS is light and maneuverable and a pleasure to park despite its very small rear windscreen. There’s a certain amount of torque-steer as you floor the accelerator on this 1.6l turbo powered firecracker, but this just adds to the fun of the quick power delivery.
In essence then, the Clio RS Cup is a whole lot of fun…
Inside, the Clio RS offers a comfortable cabin with bright red stitching on the sporty black leather seats and matching red seatbelts throughout. Red accents on the doors and around the gearshift add further to the funky, sporty allure of the Clio RS. The rear seats offer adequate space and the 60/40 split allows for masses of boot space if both seats are folded.
Our test model boasted Renault’s R-link monitor (an option available on the RS Cup only) and after syncing your phone, you’ll be able to cruise the streets to your favourite tunes, handle envious calls from your mates handsfree and get to your destination without hassle using the navigation system. Operating the R-link multimedia system took a little bit of time but it’s relatively intuitive, especially for anyone used to navigating apps and smartphones.
This car tempts you to experience a whole lot of mischievous fun on the road – you’ll want to play in it. This is despite the fact that the actual performance stats of the RS Cup are not quite on modern hot hatch levels. Our yellow press car took seven seconds to reach 100km/h. The RS Cup is a typical case of having a bark worse than its bite – it sounds great, feels awesome and won’t get you too many speeding fines.
For added sportiness and to lose some of the traction control, press the RS button and enjoy the party on the road. Throw it into ‘manual’ and you’ll elicit a snappy response from the gear box using the paddle shifts on either side of the steering wheel.
In essence then, the Clio RS Cup is a whole lot of fun, looks great, sounds fantastic and offers a lot. And it could be yours from just N$319,900 with a five year, 150,000km warranty and service plan. Sounds like something to celebrate?
0-10km/h: 0.53 seconds
0-20km/h: 1.12 seconds
0-30km/h: 1.67 seconds
0-40km/h: 2.22 seconds
0-50km/h: 2.85 seconds
0-60km/h: 3.50 seconds
0-70km/h: 4.20 seconds
0-80km/h: 5.05 seconds
0-90km/h: 6.00 seconds
0-100km/h: 7.01 seconds
0-110km/h: 8.06 seconds
0-120km/h: 9.43 seconds
0-130km/h: 10.97 seconds
0-140km/h: 12.55 seconds
0-100m: 6.75 seconds @ 95.17km/h
0-200m: 10.04 seconds @ 121.03km/h
0-300m: 12.87 seconds @ 137.15km/h
0-400m: 15.07 seconds @ 154.10km/h
Maximum acceleration G-force: 0.56G
All data captured by Racelogic® Performance Box