2007 New Renault Clio Cup: the small sports car that packs a big punch review and pictures

Posted on Thursday, 6 July 2006 , 06:07:40 byEmil

Filed under RenaultMotorsport

New Renault Clio Cup: the small sports car that packs a big punch

Renault Sport Technologies engineers designed a car exclusively used for track racing called the new Clio Cup. This version is fun, efficient and cost-effective and is only EUR 29.000. The carmaker managed to sell more than 650 units since 2001 and the Clio Cup is the only entry-level sports hatchback to have been met with worldwide acclaim. The modern technologies available on the New Clio Renault Sport were incorporated in the Clio Cup. The bodywork, engine, suspension system, power-assisted steering and brakes have therefore all been taken from the production model and simply adapted for the motorsport version. The driver compartment has been modified and now looks only a little like the production model. Its main concern is the safety and comfort of the driver and is fitted with an FIA homologated roll cage, steering wheel-mounted gearshift and digital dashboard display with a data acquisition system. It features a normally-aspirated 2.0 16V engine that can produce 205 horsepower and 223 Nm of torque. It will have its track debut in 2006 in Germany, Spain and Italy.

Whilst developing New Clio Renault Sport, Renault Sport Technologies engineers designed a car that was to be exclusively used for track racing: New Clio Cup. Faithfully derived from the production version and designed for single-brand track racing formulas, this version of New Clio is efficient, fun to drive and cost-effective. At just ?29,000, New Clio Cup offers an unrivalled price-to-performance ratio in the compact sports hatchback market.

With over 650 units sold since 2001, Clio Cup is the only entry-level sports hatchback to have been met with worldwide acclaim. Praised for its performances and reliability, as well as for being great fun to drive, it now gives way to its successor, based on the New Clio. The designers of New Clio Cup have sought to retain the inherent qualities of Clio Cup while incorporating the modern technologies available on New Clio Renault Sport.

The extensive use of production components means that Renault Sport Technologies is able to offer a motorsport model at an unrivalled price-to-performance ratio. The bodywork, engine, suspension system, power-assisted steering and brakes have therefore all been taken from the production model and simply adapted for the motorsport version.
Sitting there on its Speedline 17-inch wheels fitted with specifically-designed Michelin tyres, New Clio Cup?s raison d??tre is obvious for all to see: it is a born racer! The rear spoiler and roof-mounted air intake add even more stature to the distinguished and muscular design of New Clio Renault Sport.

The driver compartment has been completely stripped down and bears little resemblance to the production model. Its focus is driver safety and comfort, and is fitted with an FIA homologated roll cage, HANS?-system compatible bucket seat and harness, steering wheel-mounted gearshift and digital dashboard display with a data acquisition system.

When it comes to mechanics, the work carried out on the car?s ground link technology ensures that New Clio Cup is fun to drive, meaning that it handles neutrally when entering a bend and tending to oversteer slightly when exiting. In order to give the driver the best possible feel of chassis response, a lot of work has gone into stiffening the structure (ball-joint connections, reinforced engine subframe, rigid engine and gearbox mountings), work which has been validated by more than 10,000km of testing.

The normally-aspirated 2.0-litre 16V engine (F4R RS) comes with its own electronic management system and a specific air box, as well as a revised exhaust system which takes maximum power to a hefty 205bhp (151kw) at 7,300rpm (+5bhp) and the maximum torque to 223Nm at 5,550rpm (+8Nm). The four cylinder engine is combined with a specifically-designed six-speed sequential gearbox.

In order to guarantee fairness between competitors, the engine, shock absorbers, gearbox and ECU are all sealed. By prohibiting any work from being carried out on these parts, Renault Sport Technologies also ensures that season costs are kept to a minimum.

New Clio Cup will be making its track debut in 2006 in three national championships in Germany, Spain and Italy. In 2007, it will fully take over from Clio Cup on all other markets.