motoring: Plenty of fun in a hot-hatch.Byline: By John Scantlebury
IF you ever fancy a bit of driving fun, you can always turn to Renault's stoked-up versions of its Clio supermini A large-scale minicomputer. Note: Supermini is not the same as mini-supercomputer. . It has been known to overdo it - there was a 3.0 V6 a few years ago which was positively manic - but you have to enjoy these evolutions of Renault's Formula One experience.
Take a look at the rear end of the current Clio Renaultsport, for example. That corrugated underside is an air diffuser, a method of clamping a car to the ground by channelling airflow, which is an idea straight from the latest Grand Prix thinking. No more need for a rear spoiler, which will probably disappoint those who like their car in full sporting dress. But there's plenty more about this hot-hatch Clio to catch the eye.
There are skirts and aprons and muscle-bound mus·cle·bound also mus·cle-bound
1. Having inelastic, overdeveloped muscles, usually as the result of excessive exercise.
a. Hindered by or as if by overdeveloped muscles.
b. haunches over the 17-inch alloys with their big sports tyres; and there are black honeycomb grilles to extra air intakes, extractor vents behind those bulging arches and glimpses of Brembo callipers Cal`li`pers
n. pl. 1. See Calipers.
callipers, calipers (US) npl (MED) → aparato ortopédico;
(MATH) → calibrador m and the big cross-drilled disc brakes, 312mm diameter at the front and 300mm at the rear.
The car's stance on the road is very individual, too. It has a longer wheelbase wheel·base
The distance from the center of the front wheel to that of the rear wheel in a motor vehicle, usually expressed in inches.
Noun than the standard Clio and wider tracking, so that, together with the lowered suspension, it looks in prowl mood even when stationary.
What you can't see but certainly can sense is beneath you. A double-axis strut system replaces the Clio's usual MacPherson architecture and the rear suspension has a strengthened torsion torsion, stress on a body when external forces tend to twist it about an axis. See strength of materials. beam arrangement. The outcome is a remarkable display by the car of grip and dedication to going where the driver points it, and it is quite forgiving, as well, if you don't get things quite right. Of course, to attain all this, the set-up is firm enough to rattle the bones now and again.
And yet the car can dawdle daw·dle
v. daw·dled, daw·dling, daw·dles
1. To take more time than necessary: dawdled through breakfast.
2. around more like a routine Clio in Sunday driving mode, if that is required. The engine is a 197bhp two-litre naturally-aspirated unit which can take the car to 134mph and in pretty-darned-quick time, too, but the impressive action comes high up the revs counter, when you can savour a healthy rasp from the two tailpipes.
Otherwise, it murmurs its way around and copes easily with urban crawl, assisted by a close-ratio six-speed manual gearbox. Average fuel consumption is better than you would expect - I achieved 30.7mpg over a week, not that far off the official figure. Carbon dioxide carbon dioxide, chemical compound, CO2, a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that is about one and one-half times as dense as air under ordinary conditions of temperature and pressure. emissions are a fraction below the 200g/km mark.
Safety aspects, at which Renault is among the very best, include familiar features but there is recognition that the Clio Renaultsport may, on occasions, be driven "enthusiastically", to quote Renault, or even on circuit track days. Thus the electronic stability programme has been reprogrammed to higher limits - and can be, of course, disconnected - while Brake Assist has been removed from the ABS system.
The cabin is dressed to suit the sporty bloodline blood·line
The direct line of descent; a pedigree. , with aluminium pedals and chrome-zinc in the centre console, the dash and around the dials. A good-feel sports steering wheel is in perforated leather, with white stitching which is repeated in the charcoal and metallic-black upholstery.
The gripping front sports seats have height and lumbar adjustment and, with the steering wheel giving height and reach variation, a fine driving position is easily found. The steering wheel has buttons for cruise control/limiter, remote audio volume control occupying a short stalk behind, and other controls include a push-button (electronics) push-button - A roughly fingertip-sized plastic cover attached to a spring-loaded, normally-open switch, which, when pressed, closes the switch. Typical examples are the keys on a computer or calculator keyboard and mouse buttons. starter, the car having a hands-free key card.
Standard equipment also includes air conditioning, front, side and curtain airbags, heated door mirrors, front fogs, double optic headlights, deadlocks and anti-intruder system. What you don't get is a spare wheel, it being replaced by two tyre-repair aerosols to save space for the exhaust system. In that light, the boot volume is quite good and 60:40 split folding rear seats mean the car can accommodate a substantial amount.
With the seats in place, I should regard the rear area as suitable for two adults or three children at a squeeze. But leg and foot room is quite good and headroom is excellent. Sliding, memory front seats and the two big doors mean access to the back is easy.
Frankly, despite this accommodation, I can't see the Clio Renaultsport finding many family buyers - this is a car primarily for young couples and some young-at-heart empty-nesters, and they are going to have lots of pleasure from it.
Renaultsport 197 3dr
Price: pounds 15,995
Mechanical: 197bhp 1,998cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6spd manual gearbox
Max speed: 134mph
0-62mph: 6.9 secs
Combined mpg: 33.6
Insurance group: 15
CO2 emissions: 199g/km
BiK rating: 26%
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles, 3yrs paint, 12yrs anti-rust
Ready to pounce: Renault's Clio Sport looks in prowl mode even when it's stationary.; Nice inside too: Renault's Clio Sport.