Stunning Clio R.S.16 ‘concept’ launched at Monaco Grand Prix

Renault Sport has launched what could just be its most powerful road car yet – an all-new and utterly striking 2.0-litre, 275bhp Clio R.S.16.
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The car was demonstrated during Monaco Grand Prix weekend circuit by Renault Sport F1 driver Kevin Magnussen.

Produced to celebrate Renault Sport’s 40th anniversary, the extraordinary car boasts 360Nm of torque – achieved, in part, by incorporating gateway software from the ECU of the Mégane 275 Trophy-R. A potential 300bhp is being sought…

The R.S.16 (so-named after Renault’s 2016 F1 car) is the latest in a long line of outrageous performance models to have been produced by Renault Sport down the years. The company openly admits that the impact made by the Clio V6 has been an inspiration for the R.S.16’s creation.

To save weight there is neither a rear seat nor air conditioning. Its bodywork is 60mm wider than the current Clio 220 Trophy model with its wings trimmed back and composite fibre extensions introduced to make way for 19-inch wheels.

The Clio Cup race car’s rear spoiler has been added to provide an extra 40kgs of downforce at 200kph.

Fog, indicator, side and headlights have all been grouped together in a new LED lighting cluster.

The damper system uses the Mégane 275 Trophy-R’s one-way adjustable shock absorbers with sliding cartridges. Similarly the braking system is derived from the Mégane, with 350mm diameter steel discs fitted on aluminium bowls. The rear axle is taken from the Clio R3T – the rally version of the Clio Renaultsport.

Transmission is via a six-speed manual gearbox.

While performance levels appear to be incredible, so too has been the turn-around time for the car – it has been developed from the ground up inside just five months!

Initial testing of the car took place in secrecy at the Monthléry track in France in early April with an initial prototype (in Deep Black) being used. More testing has followed at the private Aubevoye track with a more permanent version in Liquid Yellow (synonymous with Renault Sport cars) being introduced – this was the car unveiled at Monaco when it appeared alongside other famous Renault Sport models such as the Clio V6, 5 Turbo, Sport Spider and Mégane R26-R and 275 Trophy-R.

The R.S.16’s test and development driver has been David Praschl. He commented: “If I had to compare Clio R.S.16 with Mégane 275 Trophy-R, I’d say there is less inertia on Clio. This makes sense since the car is more compact. It is therefore easier for all types of driver to get to grips with. The agility and progressive response of Clio R.S.16 reminds me of Clio III Cup, which was a very popular car amongst racing drivers.

“It is also safer due to its stability and the efficiency of the brakes. You really can have lots of fun behind the wheel. Now we just need to tickle the speedometer to prove that it is indeed the most powerful Renault Sport road car…”

Patrice Ratti, Managing Director of Renault Sport Cars, said: “Our aim will be to use this experience to design other slightly crazy cars, which will help us to add to our expertise while exploring new avenues for the future.”