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Rendez-vous at the 2012 Mondial de l'Automobile in Paris
4th Generation of the twice Car of the Year Renault Clio
Brings larger cars technology in a sporty French supermini 

2013 Renault Clio (generation 4): front-side view.

2013 Clio: built on a new version of the Renault-Nissan B platform, and manufactured in France and Turkey.

12 July 2012: Just a few months before the 2012 Paris motor show (Mondial de l'Automobile) opens its doors to the public from 29 September to 14 October, French automaker Renault gave a preview with the first details of the fourth generation of its B-segment Clio model.

With some 11.5 million units sold worldwide since the launch of the first Clio in 1990 (European Car of the Year 1991), it doesn't need lots of guesswork to estimate the importance of a  supermini model like the Clio in the European markets, not to mention the growing number of international markets shifting into smaller car sizes due to the constantly unstable petrol prices as well as the world financial climate.

Renault Clio Milestones 

In 1990, Clio I goes on sale, winning the European Car of the Year award for 1991.

1991-1993 saw the introduction of the Clio Williams (sports) and Clio Baccara (premium) versions.

In 1998, Renault launched the Clio II, the first car in its segment to earn a four-star EuroNCAP crash test rating. It also popularised the separate display for the radio, automatic climate control and navigation with a colour screen. In 2000, the Clio Renault Sport and Clio V6 are launched.

The Clio III was launched in 2005, becoming the first B-segment model to score a five-star EuroNCAP crash test rating. The following year Clio III is named Car of the Year. In 2008, Clio becomes available with an Estate (station wagon, touring) body.

Clio IV will be launched at the 2012 Mondial de l'Automobile in Paris (29 September to 14 October). Another Car of the Year title? Too early to speculate.

In any case, Clio is not the only famous sub-compact from Renault... the Cinq (1972 - 1985) and Supercinq (1985 - 1996, more in Wikipedia) are still as cute as they were at launch, with the little nostalgia bonus.

Today, Renault indicates that the new Clio is built on a new version of the Renault-Nissan Alliance’s B platform, and is manufactured in France (Flins) and Turkey (Bursa).


Down to the car itself now. From the front, the new five-door Clio features a more prominent brand logo within a black background, between the headlights (with chromed lower edges) and LED daytime running lights, while the rear doors have integrated rear door handles (close to the rear quarter lights).

Compared to the third generation Clio (2005, European Car of the Year 2006), the new one gets even more sporty cues with its lower ride height and wider tracks.

2013 Renault Clio (generation IV): rear -side view.

More sporty cues with lower ride height and wider tracks.

The new Clio can also be customized with various colours for the body, as well as a selection of door mirror housings, grille bars, rear panel skirts, lower door protectors and wheel finishes, as well as a choice of roof graphics. That's for the outside.

Inside, Renault describes the dashboard as "sculpted in the shape of an aircraft wing", with a rather user-friendly multimedia system on the centre console, a digital speedometer and chrome and piano-black trim highlights.

The interior colour choices cover the dashboard, door panels, steering wheel, grab handles, gear lever surround, air vent surrounds, upholstery materials and optional floor mats.


Coming to the market in the next few months as a 2013 model year, the new Renault Clio brings interesting technologies for its segment, such as a reversing camera, keyless entry, Renault R-Sound app, Renault Bass Reflex system, six-speed EDC dual clutch automatic transmission and the Renault R-Link integrated and internet-connected touchscreen tablet.

Equipment will include the MEDIA NAV system (standard in two of the three equipment levels) which is mounted with a seven-inch (18cm) touchscreen monitor in the centre console, a radio and a Bluetooth function for the audio streaming of music and hands-free use of a mobile phone. Portable music players can be connected via the fascia-mounted USB port or jack socket. MEDIA NAV is available with ‘Nav N Go’ navigation with 2D and 3D (Birdview) displays. ‘NAVTEQ’ maps can be updated via the USB port from a bespoke internet interface.

All versions will also be available with the optional Renault Bass Reflex sound system (integrated into the front doors’ loudspeakers) which delivers more powerful bass frequencies with a higher threshold for saturation and distortion. 


2013 Renault Clio (generation 4): inside view (front).

Options include the R-Link with a 7''  touchscreen monitor.

Options for the new Clio will include the Renault R-Link which comes with a 7-in. (18cm) touchscreen monitor, voice commands and a home page that can be customized for simple access to essential functions, without the driver having to take his / her eyes off the road.

The R-Link also includes the TomTom connected navigation with live services, a connection with the car’s own electronic systems to access the eco-driving function which analyses the driving style and provides advice to help reduce fuel consumption, as well as the Application Store where users can view or download a range of apps from their car or computer (via ‘My Renault’). R-Link users can also check their messages, diary, locate a service station or a parking for instance...

2013 Renault Clio (generation 4): console view.

User-friendly multimedia system on the centre console.

Another Renault R-Link app – Renault R-Sound Effect – enables the audio personalisation to simulate six different engine sound profiles, each with a specific signature and synchronised with driving parameters such as speed and acceleration.

 TCe 90

The updated range of petrol (gasoline) and diesel engines includes the first three-cylinder powerplant ever produced by Renault, with the new turbocharged Energy TCe 90 petrol engine (900cc) which comes with Stop&Start and should deliver the performance of a normally-aspirated 1.4-litre engine.

Maximum output is 90hp (66 kW, 89 bhp) at 5,000rpm, with a peak torque of 135Nm at 2,500rpm (90 percent of peak torque is available from 1,650rpm), and fuel consumption of 4.3 litres/100km (23.26 kms per litre, 65.6 UK mpg, 54.7 US mpg), equivalent to CO2 emissions of 99g/km. Renault says that this represents a reduction of 21 percent fuel consumption and CO2 emissions compared to the outgoing TCe 100.

 TCe 120

2013 Renault Clio (generation IV): instruments (tachometer, speedometer and fuel gauge).

 Digital speedo between the tachometer and the fuel gauge.

The 4th generation Clio will also be available later with a new TCe 120 engine mated to a six-speed EDC transmission (Efficient Dual Clutch), a first for Renault in the B segment.

The four-cylinder 1.2-litre engine should offer the performance of a normally-aspirated 1.6 engine, thanks to the turbocharging  and direct fuel injection. Maximum power is 120hp (88 kW, 118 bhp) with a peak torque of 190Nm at 1,750rpm. Fuel economy figures should be available nearer to the engine's launch date in the first half of 2013.

 dCi 90

A new diesel version of the 1.5 dCi joins the Energy family with Stop&Start. The four-cylinder 1.5-litre engine generates a peak of 220Nm of torque available from 1,750rpm, an increase of 20Nm over the current dCi 90. Maximum output is  90hp (66 kW, 89 bhp) at 4,000rpm, with an economy-optimised version with taller gear ratios which provides fuel consumption of 3.2 litres/100km (31.25 kms per litre, 88 UK mpg, 73.5 US mpg), equivalent to CO2 emissions of 83g/km.

The EDC dual clutch transmission will become available with the dCi 90 engine in the first half of 2013.


Renault claims that its new ECO mode will allow Clio drivers to reduce fuel consumption by as much as 10 percent by modifying the car’s performance parameters at the push of a button. A driving style monitor (green, yellow or orange) and a Gear Shift Indicator (GSI) on the dashboard help drivers improve their driving style to reduce fuel consumption.

More details about the all-new Renault Clio will be available from this September.


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