Developed by Renaultsport, the five-door Clio GT-Line TCe 120 EDC is powered by the brand’s new turbocharged, direct-injection 1.2-litre petrol engine. Like its pocket rocket sibling, it comes mated exclusively to a six-speed EDC (Efficient Dual Clutch) transmission via steering column-mounted gear shift paddles.
Priced at £17,395, the new version sits between the TCe 90 Dynamique S MediaNav and the 200hp range-topper. With 120hp turbocharged power on tap, allied to much of the hot hatch style and features from the high-selling range’s halo model, but considerably lower running and purchase costs, the French marque is looking for it to have broad customer appeal.
The newcomer also benefits from two key differences to lesser Clios. Firstly, a Sport Chassis as standard, with 40% stiffer dampers and specific stops. Secondly, the added bonus of R.S. Drive. This system, offers two driving modes (instead of three on the halo model), Normal and Sport. Pressing the button sharpens up the car’s responses, including the engine and gearbox mapping, ESC settings, steering feeling and throttle pedal response. Selecting Sport mode shaves 30 milliseconds off of the already impressive shift time of 200ms for the gearchange. It also retains the multi-changedown function of the 200 Turbo EDC, usually the preserve of supercars, simply by holding down the downshift paddle.
Like the driving experience overall, performance in the newcomer is brisk. The new powertrain offers up 190Nm of torque, with a top speed of 121 mph. Against the stopwatch, 0-62 mph is achieved in a swift 9.9 seconds.
Under its sleek five-door bodyshell, it offers specific settings courtesy of its aforementioned R.S. Drive set-up, plus impressive frugality with 54.3 mpg on the combined cycle and emissions of only 120g/km CO2, meaning zero road tax in the first year and just £30 thereafter A likely attraction to a younger audience, its insurance rating is also a palatable 14E.
Instantly recognisable as a stylish alternative to rivals such as thesimilarly powered MINI Cooper and Citroen DS3, the latest creation to be fettled by the Renaultsport wizards is versatile, understated and user-friendly.
New Clio GT-Line TCe 120 EDC boasts plenty of Renaultsport’s design cues, from its grille, GT front and rear bumpers and specific rear lip spoiler, to its side sills, offset LED daytime running lights, twin chrome exhaust tailpipes and GT badging both front and rear. Rounding off its purposeful looks are 17-inch anthracite GT alloys, together with co-ordinating anthracite door mirrors and rear diffuser.
In the unlikely event that these alterations still don’t distinguish it enough from other versions, the optional Renault i.d. Malta Blue paint finish certainly will.
The sport theme continues on the inside with an upmarket cabin boasting dark carbon GT upholstery, matched with details picked out in chrome and gloss black. A GT leather steering wheel with badging, Renaultsport seats with additional side support, aluminium-capped pedals, steering column-mounted gearshift paddles and specific instrument backgrounds all testify to the fact that this is a pedigree, high-performance Clio. Anthracite surrounds for the air vents, gearlever gaiter, plus inserts for the gearlever and door panels also give the car an air of exclusivity.
In the true tradition of its warm hatch variants, Renault hasn’t skimped on equipment either. The Clio GT-Line TCe 120 EDC is packed full of the latest technology, including the seven-inch touchscreen R-Link multi-media system with integrated TomTom Live satellite navigation and three months TomTom Live Services subscription, Application Store and Eco Driving Menu. The set-up also provides 4x35W Arkamys audio with 3D sound, Bluetooth, USB and hands-free technology and Renault Bass Reflex system, two tweeters and fingertip remote controls. As you would expect on the penultimate version in the range, hands-free card for entry and ignition and air conditioning are also standard.
Lastly, safety has not been forgotten either with ABS and a raft of electronic aids (ESC and ETC (Electronic Stability and Traction Control), HSA (Hill Start Assist) all specified as standard equipment.
In spite of the generous equipment level, several tempting items feature on the options list for the more discerning customer. Among them are a reversing camera, fixed glass panoramic sunroof and also leather upholstery with heated front seats.
The all-new Clio GT-Line 120 EDC comes in five colours, one of which is solely the preserve of this latest model, Renault i.d. metallic Malta Blue. The others are white, a further Renault i.d. metallic Flame Red, plus Diamond Black and Mercury.
Ordering is open ahead of appearing in showrooms from July, with first customer deliveries commencing in September.