Renault Clio RS 200 EDC tested

By ARIS ZARIL | 2 October 2014

Everyone loves a sporty car that can weave through traffic with loads of fun thrown in. Our tester had a good time with the Clio RS 200 EDC.

Renault is no stranger to making ferocious hot hatches, and with the new Clio Renault Sport (RS) 200, they intend on continuing that long tradition.

The latest incarnation of the wild ride does hint at some ‘growing up’, and in many ways this is clearly seen.

The car is now strictly five-door only, which might sadden those who love the original three-door sporty look.

But fear not, the rear door handles are of the neatly ‘hidden’ design, like those we used to see on an Alfa Romeo 156, so you still have a sporty silhouette at first glance.

Renault Clio RS 200 - 04
There is nothing subtle about the exterior of this sporty compact, the aggressive front screams in your face with its sharp-looking headlamps, bright daytime-running lights and large Renault grille (with a Formula One-inspired horizontal strip and RS-badge prominently displayed for good measure), while the rear sports a roof spoiler and diffuser for aerodynamic purposes.

Sleek-looking tail lamps are among the most handsome in its class and exhaust pipes are neatly integrated into the diffuser.

The side profile boasts muscular shoulders and fancy mouldings, completed all-round by Goodyear Eagle F1 tyres on 17-inch wheels that look mean.

The Flame Red paintjob our test car came in completes the overall look of the exterior.

There is no doubt that this is one hatch you don’t want to mess with on the road.

Stepping inside, you’ll find the interior isn’t as flashy as the exterior, but it is still sporty nevertheless.

A hands-free Renault key card is intended to be slotted into the dash, but you can still activate the push-start ignition system with the card placed in your pocket.

There is a certain feel of spaciousness in the cabin, which is remarkable considering the fact that this is in all honesty a rather compact car.

Renault Clio RS 200 - 11
Even up in the rear, it isn’t as tight as one might expect.

Boot space is larger than average in its class, and seats can fold down for added flexibility.

Good to know that you still have practicality available on days you wish to use the car for less insane purposes.

A meaty leather-wrapped steering wheel greets you, armed with huge paddle shifters and a cool-looking instrument cluster behind, where a digital speedometer takes centrestage.

An orange theme dominates, with accents on the doors, air conditioning vents, steering wheel, upholstery stitching, gear lever, carpets and best of all, orange seat belts!

Renault Sport branding is also flashed here and there, as to remind you what car you are in.

Renault Clio RS 200 - 07
The “floating effect” centre console looks neat but it is quite apparent that this design, originally made for left-hand drive, wasn’t “mirror-imaged” when the Clio RS 200 was converted to right-hand drive.

Thankfully the gear lever housing is angled correctly.

One of the highlights of the Clio RS 200 is RS Monitor 2.0, which provides the driver with a plethora of information.

Track enthusiasts and PlayStation addicts will get a real kick out of this, as you can obtain real-time info like g-force diagrams, bar graphs (torque, power, turbo pressure, throttle valve aperture, brake pressure, steering wheel angle, engine speed, wheel torque, water, transmission and intake air temperature, among others), wheel spin and even a graphical display of the twin-clutch gearbox internals.

There is a GPS-aided stop watch for you to track your lap times, with a data logger which you can plug in a USB stick to store.

For some drivers this may be more information than they would ever need, but for weekend track warriors, this feature is heaven-sent.

Another interesting feature would be the R-Sound Effect, which is a fun application that utilises the car’s sound system to reproduce the sound of a several high-performance engines.

Renault Clio RS 200 - 08
Three are unique to the Clio RS (Alpine A110, R8 Gordini and Nissan GT-R) and you can even make the car sound like a cruiser bike!

However, I believe the one that takes the cake would be the ‘Renault Reinastella’, a George Jetson-like hover car that’s purportedly from the year 2038 and emits a flying saucer sound. Yes, you read that right.

If you haven’t noticed, the new Clio RS is available only with a six-speed ‘Efficient Dual Clutch (EDC)’ transmission, which might be a slight bummer for hardcore enthusiasts who love their manual gear shifts.

The paddle shifters work well, but I personally felt the response time could be a little more instant.

Renault Clio RS 200 - 12
Gearshifts are brisk in automatic mode though, and even in default settings the car is very nimble.

The new 1.6L four-cylinder 16-valve turbo delivers 200hp at 6,000rpm, along with 240Nm of torque from 1,750rpm.

The highlight would be the RS Drive, a little insignificant-looking button that sits between the gear lever and handbrake.

Pressing the button modifies the mapping of the EDC gearbox, alternating between the various modes (normal, sport and race).

The high amount of torque is guaranteed to provide instant driving thrills, and coupled with performance tyres this pocket rocket will devour any corner with relative ease.

Renault Clio RS 200 - 06
This is one car that begs to be driven fast and floored hard.

And I really must mention the exhaust note, which is stupendous.

Really. Just switch off the R-Sound Effect because that note is truly the real deal.

The segment where the Clio RS 200 sits in is starting to really pick up lately, with quite a number of competitors that include the VW Polo GTI, Peugeot 208 GTI and the upcoming Ford Fiesta ST.

This made-in-France Clio RS 200 can be yours for RM172,888 (on-the-road with insurance).




CarSifu's Rating: 7.6