Just ahead of the 2018 Formula 1 season opener in Melbourne, Renault Australia have launched the previously anticipated Clio RS 18 Special Edition - that name being shared with this year’s race car from the Renault Sport Formula 1 team.
The car will be offered at $39,990 and be limited to just 10 units locally. As an salute to their own efforts at the ‘pinnacle of motorsport’, the special run Clio has had both its exterior and interior cosmetically enhanced to emulate the RS18 F1 racer’s livery and team colours.
As you’d expect, there’s plenty of black and yellow together with a wealth of RenaultSport badging to be found peppered throughout. The exterior has been drenched in what the automaker calls ‘Deep Black’, not even leaving the usually chrome logo to remain so. The wheels, naturally, follow this motif with a dark gloss finish.
The only reprieve being comes in the form of specific bright ‘Sirius yellow’ highlights located along the lower door panels, wheel caps, the front air blade that defines that wraps around the chequered flag-inspired fog lamps, as well as RS decals on the roof.
Inside, the black theme continues but with the red accents taking precedence over the livery-matching yellow. Much of the standard car’s interior is already dressed in black trim and upholstery, so there wasn't much that needed doing, but there are additional carbon fibre inserts, and a steering wheel wrapped with Alcantara.
The Nissan MR 1.6-litre engine is essentially the same as that found in the Clio RS 220 EDC Trophy, producing a punchy 164kW and 280Nm and mated to a 6-speed dual-clutch transmission to drive the front wheels through an electronic front differential.
As standard, the RS18 receives a titanium Akrapovič exhaust system and additional suspension enhancements over the Clio Trophy’s already focused setup, receiving a lower ride height, quicker steering calibration, stiffer springs, and front dampers that incorporate hydraulic compression stops.
“Renault Sport customers share our passion for motorsport. With this limited-edition model – which is based on the technical foundations of the Clio R.S. 220 EDC Trophy – we are proud to be able to offer them the very best of our engineering expertise. Its sporting credentials are expressed by a number of design flourishes drawn directly from the world of Formula 1. The Renault Clio R.S.18 is an eloquent illustration of the close bond that exists between our motorsport activities and our road cars.” - Quentin Audiffren, Clio R.S. Product Manager, Renault Sport Cars.