Renault Sport have unveiled a new concept car, the Clio R.S.16 is the highest performance Renault Sport road-going vehicle ever and its reveal in 2016 celebrates both 40 years of Renault Sport. Thanks to new working procedures involving teams from the worlds of motorsport and road cars, the development of the highest-performance road-going Renault Sport car ever took just five months from start to finish.
The concept is a Renault Sport Clio with the noisy parts of the Megane 275 Trophy R shoehorned inside it. That means a 271bhp 2-litre turbocharged engine in place of a 197bhp 1.6, and a six-speed manual gearbox in place of the current Clio’s paddleshifter. Smaller and lighter than the Megane, it means you’re likely looking at Renault’s fastest ever car.
The concept means business: highlights of its spec sheet include suspension components from the Clio R3T rally car, adjustable Ohlins dampers, track-biased tires and a pair of bucket seats with six-point harnesses, and a bespoke Akrapovic exhaust. The car is wider with a 60mm broader track to aid handling. The bodywork has followed, with flared wheel arches that are composite fiber additions atop the old arches, rather than brand new items. The rear wing, is borrowed from the Clio Cup racecar, and adds 40kg of downforce at 125mph upwards.
What there isn’t is a rear set bench or air conditioning, with a 1,200kg target weight applied to the RS16. Renault Sport’s trademark Liquid Yellow has been combined with gloss black details to mirror the livery of Renault Sport Formula One Team’s R.S.16 F1 single-seaters.
A production decision has yet to be made, but Renault has past form in bringing cars like this to the public, the mid-engined, rear-driven 5 Turbo and Clio V6 chief among them.
“Our aim was to produce a concept car with genuinely outstanding performance credentials,” said Patrice Ratti, Managing Director of Renault Sport Cars.