Renault has a tradition of launching annual special edition cars – usually affording the special liveries, badges, and numbering to the Megane RS. But for 2018, Renault is endowing its smaller hot hatch – the Clio RS – with the opportunity to bear the nameplate of its Formula 1 counterpart. Inspired by, and named after the Renault Sport Formula 1 Team’s 2018 challenger, this is the new Renault Clio RS18.
The Clio RS18 works on the basis of the existing Clio RS 220 EDC Trophy, liveried in Deep Black for the body, with Sirius Yellow highlights on the F1-style front blade, side mouldings, and wheel centre caps. The rear badges, front bumper, and Renault and RS logos are completely blacked out for this special edition model.
Changes to the interior to set this Clio RS18 apart from its siblings include a traditional numbered door sill – standard on all special edition Renault RS models – as well as an Alcantara and leather trimmed steering wheel and carbon fibre-effect air vent surrounds.
Mechanically, the Clio RS18 remains identical to the RS220 EDC. It’s 1.6-litre turbocharged 4 cylinder produces 162kW and 260Nm, with an extra 20Nm available on a temporary overboost function. The front wheels are driven through Renault’s 6-speed dual clutch automatic gearbox.
Based on the Clio RS 220 EDC Trophy, the Clio RS18 features a lower, stiffer chassis than other Clio RS models, and the Clio RS18 is equipped as standard with an Akrapovic exhaust system. At this stage, Renault has not declared how many units will be built, however Renault South Africa has confirmed the Clio RS18 will be available in South Africa from the second quarter of 2018.