Will likely spearhead evolved design direction too.
French carmaker Renault is hard at work developing the next-generation Clio, despite the fact that we’re only just getting used to the facelifted version of the smart family hatch. It appears that the new Clio, slated for release in 2019, will not only feature an electrified powertrain, but it’ll also pack Level 2 autonomous driving features.
These details were revealed by the VP of Renault Europe, Jean-Cristophe Kugler, in an announcement made at Renault’s ‘Drive the Future’ conference, which is ongoing. The next-gen Clio will come with the very latest connectivity solutions from the marque too, which will certainly put it in good stead among the ever-competitive contenders in the compact-hatch segment. From what Autocar reports, the new Clio is already being put through its paces in an initial testing phase, with mules being disguised as current-gen models.
The Clio will benefit from a new hybrid powertrain, likely a trickle-down variation of the ‘Hybrid Assist’ system seen in the Megane and Scenic, albeit with some alterations. There’s a likelihood that a hybrid Clio will be offered in a plug-in hybrid variety, which will make it the very first PHEV in the segment. A PHEV Clio could end up replacing a more traditional 0.9-litre turbo tri-cylinder variant in the future, given the 0.9TCe unit has racked up quite a bit of flak internationally.
Diesels will feature in the future-Clio range too, albeit heavily reworked units that will comply with ever-tightening emissions regulations. What wasn’t clear was how heavily electrification would feature in the range, as it’s entirely possible that the Clio might feature hybrid tech across the board, rather than with just specific variants, a move that would definitely go a long way in keeping the marque’s overall emission levels reasonable.
Style-wise, the Clio could lead an evolution in the marque’s design, given that the Clio has generally been the precursor to design changes across the range. The cabin should see the fitment of a wide infotainment screen, while the exterior will most definitely retain large C-shaped LED daytime running light elements, while the rest of the car will most likely see a watered-down design between the Symbioz and Trezor concepts.