Journalist and race driver Christian Gebhardt set a time of eight minutes and 23 seconds around the 20.8km circuit in mid-December. That is reckoned to be nine seconds up on an Audi’s S1 model, eight in front of the Opel Corsa OPC and three up on MINI’s Cooper JWC.
Gebhardt declared: “The way this Clio has mastered the Nordschleife with a 1.6-litre turbo engine is astonishing… Everything just comes together perfectly.”
Much of the car’s performance around the Nordschleife’s undulations is thanks to the fact it is equipped with exceptionally direct steering, an electronic differential lock (R.S. diff) and an electronic stability system that can be switched off. In addition there are its sport braking system and chassis, while the front differential lock ensures optimum traction and early acceleration out of corners.
Renaultsport is no stranger to setting records around the Nordschleife – seen by many as an ultimate testing ground for high-performance vehicles. In 2014 the Mégane 275 Trophy-R set the fastest time for a front-wheel-drive car around the circuit in an eye-watering time of just over seven minutes and 54 seconds…