Renault Australia has confirmed that the special edition Clio will indeed be reaching Australian shores, costing an as-yet undetermined amount but surely more than the Clio RS Trophy on which it’s based ($42,990 driveaway).
As something of an ode to its efforts in motorsports, specifically Formula 1, Renault’s Clio RS 18 is a limited run hot hatch that aims to encapsulate some of its racing heritage as it stands in 2018 - hence the name, which it shares with the F1 chassis code for this year.
Given this connection, the almost entirely ‘Deep Black’ exterior punctuated with bright ‘Sirius Yellow’ highlights makes perfect sense, matching the F1 car’s livery. Naturally, plenty of RS badging is to be found inside, but once onboard there’s little to distinguish it from a non special edition Clio RS.
As before, Renault fits it with their RS Monitor telemetry and infotainment package, and it comes with a premium Bose stereo as well. Other more luxurious touches include the part-leather upholstery, carbon-fibre accents on the climate control vents, and a steering wheel trimmed in Alcantara.
Renault Sport has lavished some attention on the RS 18’s dynamics too, giving it a little edge over the standard Clio RS Trophy by further lowering the suspension and endowing it with more optimised spring and damper calibration as well as some sharpened steering.
However, its powertrain remains largely untouched, using the same Nissan-sourced turbocharged 1.6-litre MR four-cylinder petrol as before, producing 162kW and 280Nm, paired to a 6-speed EDC dual-clutch transmission that channels drive to the front wheels. With the aid of launch control, 100km/h mark arrives in just 6.6 seconds while its top speed stands at 234km/h.
Being based off of a Clio RS Trophy, it benefits from a 13kW and 20Nm power increase over the base model, achieved by some revised engine mapping, increased turbocharger boost pressure, and a titanium Akrapovič exhaust system that should give the RS 18’s drive plenty of aural feedback.