Nic Cackett was the lucky scribe to try out the car – the latest Renaultsport model to get the hallowed Trophy badge – for Autocar.
A higher rev range – 300rpm more than the Clio Renaultsport 200 – plus an increase in power (200hp to 220hp) are immediately noticeable.
He wrote: “Thumb the RS button for its ‘race’ setting and the new-found liveliness nears actual exuberance. The engine’s additional muscle is further enhanced by seemingly greater lung capacity, with a revised intake and exhaust meaning the four-pot threshes its way to a higher 6800rpm rev limit, with rasp and far greater gusto,” he wrote.
And he added: “A Ford Fiesta ST might just find itself going backwards now.”
Renaultsport has also turned its attention to the 220’s ride height and suspension – it is 20mm and 10mm lower at front and rear respectively compared to the 200.
Cackett continues: “The Trophy lives up to its suspension billing, negating the 200’s weight transfer tendencies by barely dipping a wing at turn-in and thereafter transforming the engine’s faster, freer spin into a balanced and properly tacky mid-bend hunker – one made all the more palpable by a steering that has had some of the responsiveness returned to it.”
For Auto Express, driving duties of the 220 Trophy were assigned to Jonathan Burn. “It rides with far greater compliancy than a 220hp hot hatch has any right to – despite being lowered by 20mm at the front and 10mm at the rear. It flows with the road in a way a Ford Fiesta ST can only dream of, smothering imperfections and absorbing bumps.”
The 220’s gearchanges are still via a paddleshift system – the same as in the 200 – but are now up to 50 per cent faster thanks to more Renaultsport tweaks.
Burn noted: “Keep your right foot buried and Clio rips through the ratios with a fraction more severity, accompanied by a snort from the exhaust. Pulling the paddles yourself also takes less time as there is 30 per cent less travel…”
For Pistonheads.com there were plenty of positives to report on with stance, ride height, wheels, gearbox, ‘sport’ and ‘race’ modes, noise from gearshifts, steering and turn-in, handling, brakes and extra power all receiving big ticks from the site’s Matt Bird.