While we wait for the 2013 Renault Clio RS to come out from under its camo, the fourth-geneeration Clio hatch it’s based on has just been fully revealed. The new car has been given gifts from every department: it’s lost 220 pounds, its design showcases the French marque’s new corporate identity, under the hood it gets new engines (including the company’s first three-cylinder), a dual-clutch transmission, and infotainment moves on a step with the customizable R-Link touchscreen system and R-Link app store. This Clio will only come as a five-door hatch, but it offers a serious amount of personalization options inside and out to separate each car from what will likely be a very large herd.
In addition to the contrasting colors available on everything from the grille insert to the steering wheel, the R-Link home screen can be arranged according to user preference, and the app R-Link ecosystem is being encouraged by Renault’s appeals to developer talent and startups. There’s also the slightly gimmicky R-Sound Effect, which can pipe “six different engine sound profiles” into the cabin when you tire of the natural, small-displacement exhaust note. More substantive developments are found under the hood, in the form of an available three-cylinder turbocharged, 0.9-liter TCe 90 gas engine with 90 horsepower and 100 pound-feet of torque.
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