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Renault Clio RenaultSport 197 Arrives .... Finally


7th August, 2008

Copyright image of 2008 Renault Clio Renaultsport 197 - Used by Next Car Pty Ltd with permission

Performance, passion and driving pleasure were all key priorities for RenaultSport engineers when they started work on the Clio RenaultSport 197. The result is a car engineered to set pulses running.

Engine and Transmission

Designed by RenaultSport in association with Renault’s powertrain engineering department, the Clio RenaultSport 197’s normally aspirated, 1,998 cc, 4-cylinder, 16 valve powerplant generates 145 kW (197 hp) at 7,250 rpm and 215 Nm of torque at 5,550 rpm.

Based on the unit which powered the renowned Clio RenaultSport 182, it boasts a specific power output of almost 100 hp per litre, offering exceptional performance.

The 2.0 engine is matched to a new six-speed manual gearbox, this powerful, responsive engine offers first-class sports performance and driving pleasure.

The Clio 197 can accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 6.9 seconds.

The 197’s uprated power and torque figures stem from numerous modifications and optimisations to the powertrain. As in Formula One, optimised intake and exhaust port length and profiling have resulted in an evolution of inlet acoustics to a volumetric efficiency of over 100%. Extensive work has also gone into the valve seat aerodynamics, facilitating the optimum intake of additional air and the smoothest possible flow of gases. The calibration of the camshaft has also been modified to increase valve lift from 9mm to 11.5 mm, providing a longer, wider valve aperture. And the design of both combustion chamber and piston head has resulted in a particularly high compression ratio of 11.5:1, facilitating enhanced combustion for higher performance allied to lower emissions.

Continuously variable valve timing improves performance at all engine speeds by varying the camshaft angle to optimise valve operation. At low revs and engine speeds below 5,000 rpm, the 197 offers a smooth, tractable power delivery perfectly adapted to every day motoring. At higher revs, the full capabilities of this remarkable powerplant are released, offering unparalleled performance appropriate to the car’s true sporting heritage.

RenaultSport Technologies’ engineers have paid particular attention to the provision of a signature engine note appropriate to the 197’s pedigree. From a discreet pitch at low revs, the engine note builds through the rev range, ultimately producing its trademark ‘bark’ as the 7,250 rpm red line approaches. To prevent boom at certain engine speeds, the steel crankshaft features eight counterweights to improve both rigidity and balance, reducing friction and parasitic vibrations under operation. Soundproofing to the reinforced subframe and specific floor areas further minimises boom and under floor exhaust noise, whilst the 3Y-type exhaust manifold itself offers an excellent compromise between acoustic performance, power and low emissions.

The spare wheel well has been replaced by an exhaust silencer housing with a streamlined, flat panel under-cover, whilst the dual exhausts themselves are flush fitted within the outer channels of the diffuser to ensure minimal aerodynamic interference with the system.

Designed and Engineered For Performance

The dimensions of the 197 chassis have been modified compared with those of Clio III, including a longer wheelbase and wider front and rear tracks. A double-axis strut system and aluminium components for greater driving precision completes the package.

The wider front and rear guards, lowered stance, profiled side skirts and semi-rigid under-bumper splitter combine with the extractor vents and diffuser to assert the 197's advanced aerodynamic engineering and sports heritage.

On a wheelbase lengthened by 10 mm and with an increase in track width of 48 mm to the front and 50 mm to the rear, the 197 features a substantially revised RenaultSport suspension system, with a ride height 15 mm lower than that of a standard Clio III.

To the front, an innovative, double-axis strut set-up with numerous aluminium components is not only 7.5 kg lighter than a comparable MacPherson strut system, but also, through entirely divorcing the steering axis from the damping system, completely removes any hint of torque steer. To the rear, the stiffness of the programmed deflection torsion beam system has been uprated by 25%, and the anti-roll bar increased in diameter from 10 to 30 mm.

The subframe is the same as that used by the Mégane RenaultSport 225 and includes transverse strengthening for improved front-end rigidity. The front subframe bushes and rear suspension mountings have been stiffened, as have the upper front shock absorber mountings.

The generously-dimensioned tyres (215/45) and 17-inch light alloy wheels which barely conceal the Brembo brake calipers and big discs that ensure powerful and durable stopping performance.

Formula 1-derived aerodynamics

The aerodynamics of Clio RenaultSport 197 have benefited from extensive development work. In addition to front guard extractor vents, the new car features a ground-breaking first for this type of vehicle in the form of a rear air diffuser.

The diffuser's purpose is to prevent rear-end lift and maintain stability at high speed by channeling air flow in such a way to increase the suction effect. The radius of the diffuser's curve is engineered to provide a zone of low pressure beneath the car.

The downforce generated by the diffuser means there is no need for a rear spoiler to counter the phenomenon of lift.

For optimal stability, the system reduces lift by a factor of three and produces the equivalent of 40 kg of rear downforce at very high track speeds without detracting from the car's carefully honed aerodynamics designed to achieve a low CdA.

Sporty interior

The 197 interior trim echoes the car's exterior styling. Interior highlights include aluminium pedals and perforated-leather steering wheel with red centre-point stitching.

Designed and positioned for optimal clarity, the instruments feature white data on a black background. The rev counter incorporates a gear-change indicator light, while the size of the figures increases as the needle gets closer to the red zone at 7,500 rpm.

The overriding dark charcoal colour scheme is offset by the chrome-zinc centre console and dashboard inserts which echo technology and sports performance.

The 197’s RenaultSport seats have been designed to offer outstanding comfort combined with the highly effective lateral support appropriate to the car’s dynamic abilities.

As with all RenaultSport Technologies developed models, the exclusive RenaultSport logo appears on the instrument backgrounds, door sills and front seats.

Safety and Performance Combined

As you’d expect from the only company to have garnered a maximum five Euro NCAP crash test stars for eight of its cars, the 197 further benefits from no less than eight airbags. New generation height adjustable front head restraints, integrated seatbelt pretensioners and load limiters, ABS with Electronic Brake Distribution and a disconnectable sports-tuned ESP (Electronic Stability Programme) stability control system are also standard.

Equipment and Options

Standard equipment on the Clio RenaultSport 197 includes: 17” RenaultSport alloy wheels, leather steering wheel with red stitched centre band (rake adjustable), electric windows, drilled aluminium pedals, multi-function trip computer, Cruise control (with speed limiter), 30 W AM/FM radio with single CD 60/40 split folding rear seats.

In addition to the high levels of standard features a number of options are also available: Metallic paint ($800), Xenon lights ($1,750), 4x40 w AM/FM stereo with dash-mounted 6-CD stacker ($800), Panoramic electric glass sunroof ($1,890).

Recommended Retail Price* and Warranty

The recommended retail price the Renault Clio RenaultSport 197 is $36,490.00.

All RenaultSport models are covered by a 3 year/100,000 km warranty.

Other Renault content: here.

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