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Renault RS220 Clio Trophy

by Barry Green,reviewed April 2016

Renault’s Clio R.S. 200 EDC has won plenty of friends with its dynamic competence and sporty demeanour.


So accomplished is the chassis and associated ancillaries that some might argue it could easily handle a little more oomph.

Cue the 220 EDC Trophy. As the name suggests, this limited edition newcomer boasts 20 more horsepower (15kW) from its 1.6-litre turbo four-cylinder engine.
 
The R.S. 220 can be told apart from its 18-inch diamond-cut Radicale wheels and Trophy badging on the front spoiler, door trims and individually numbered door sills.

Inside, the differences extend to an embossed leather-trim steering wheel, heated leather sports seats with integrated head rests and a gear lever base plate and air-vent inserts finished in satin-effect chrome in place of the anodized red offered in the R.S. 200.

Stop&Start fuel and emission saving technology is standard, marking the first time in Australia Renault has offered this feature in combination with the EDC transmission.
 
But the real difference is – as it should be – in the drive experience. New engine mapping, a larger turbo, intake system designed to minimize back pressure losses and a revised exhaust system have boosted power to 162kW. Torque is up 40Nm to 280.

So, as well as increased response and urge, the 1.6-litre turbo engine is more expansive and flexible in its delivery. 

The EDC transmission – not renowned for being one of the more fluent of its kind – has also been revised. The result is gear changes that are up to 30 percent faster, Renault says, and while we had no way of measuring this on test, the overall feel is noticeably more precise and convincing.

Firming and lowering the suspension 20mm at the front and 10mm at the rear, along with stiffer dampers and hydraulic bump stops, has made the handling sharper; the R.S. 220 cornering even flatter and harder and gripping more resolutely than before. 

Turn-in is sharp and incisive, thanks to a faster steering rack where the ratio has been reduced by 10 percent.

Not surprisingly, given what amounts to a track-focused bias, the ride is firm but not disagreeably so. Hit a bump and you feel it through the steering wheel, but the car continues to track true with no unsettling affect. 
  
At $39,990, the R.S. 220 Trophy is some $10,000 – or around 33 percent – dearer than the R.S. 200 Club. So, it won’t be for everybody. But Renault has already thought of that with just 220 units allocated for sale in Australia.

For

Better performance and handling, more equipment, exclusivity.

Against

Hefty price premium.

Car Details

Current price range $39990 - $
ANCAP crash rating
5 out of 5 stars
Insurance

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Technical advice

For more information about your prospective purchase, contact our Motoring Advice Service.

Engine 1.6-litre, turbo-petrol 4-cyl.
Max power 162kW.
Max torque 280Nm.
Driving wheels FWD
Fuel type 95 RON PULP
CO2 Emissions 135g.km.

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This review is based on road testing conducted by The Road Ahead. Further vehicle reviews, in-depth comparisons and coverage of consumer motoring issues can be found in the Club's magazine. Prices listed were current at the time of review and are manufacturers list prices and do not include statutory and delivery charges. Prices can vary from time to time and dealer to dealer.