Friday, April 15, 2016

Forza Motorsport 6 - Chronicling the Clio


The Renault Clio, the B-segment midsize compact hatchback in the Renault range, is currently on its fourth-generation and while driving this hot RenaultSport version, I realized even though this hatchback's good as a track-day car, there's somewhat lacking in the enjoyment department aside from the double-clutch gearbox that takes more than I hoped for to change gears. Probably it's the heritage that the best Clio per generation had in its two and a half decade tenure when the first Clio launched in 1990.

Alright, let me get back to where it all started and since this game had four of the best Renault Clios per generation, it might be the ideal chance to know about the best Clio per generation had in its 25 or 26-year career. Is that right? Anyway...

clio (3)

The best model offered in the first-generation Clio was none other than the legendary Clio Williams. Although this car has nothing to do with the Williams F1 team, it uses the 16S model as the base and then fettled by the Renault Sport division. It comes with a 2.0L engine producing 147PS of power output and capable of 215kph of top speed. Aside from that, the Clio Williams features track-oriented handling upgrades well fit for this hot hatch hero.

After all 3,800 units sold out, insistent public demand prompted Renault to build 1,600 more. Later on, Renault created the second and third batch of Clio Williams models, leading to a total of over 12,000 units built.

clio (4)

When the second-generation Clio came out, the best version was the first and only mid-engined hot hatchback, the Clio V6. Specifically, the Phase II of the Clio V6. When the folks from Renault wanted to develop a V6 powered hot hatchback, they faced a key issue and that is their V6 engine couldn't accommodate the front hood and what they did here is get rid of the rear seats, place the V6 engine midships, make it rear-wheel drive, and this is the result; the world's first and only mid-engined hot hatchback. The Phase II version of the Clio V6 features an updated version of its V6 engine, developing 251HP of power.

clio (2)

Onto the third-generation model, the best version offered is the Clio RS 200. This model is the last to have a naturally aspirated 2.0L petrol engine and conventional 6-speed manual gearbox and although gone, some drivers believed that a good hot hatchback needed to be pure like this, that's why there are hesitant to embrace the latest model and its turbocharged 1.6L engine and EDC gearbox with paddle shifters. Although an improvement to the pre-facelifted model, the Clio III RS 200 features better downforce, capable of tracking down corners with its precise movements.

Anyway, with the history lesson done, the best Clios per generation have been gathered to settle the issue of which Clio is the best and that's why I am at Brands Hatch to settle this issue once and for all. Question is, which Clio is the best? Let's find out.

At the end, I had the results...

Clio Williams - 2:07.028
Clio V6 - 1:59.065
Clio RS 200 - 1:58.827
Clio RS 200 EDC - 1:58.708

clio (5)

Needless to say, despite its flaws, the fourth-generation Renault Clio RS 200 EDC is the ultimate improvement over the past hot Clios through the years. It maybe prone to understeering, its double-clutch gearbox may had some delay tactics on its own, but above all, this Clio managed to withstand through the test of time with historical improvements and it's clear to say that this Clio is a track-honed hot hatch in its own right. Let's hope Renault can make the Clio RS even better to keep the enthusiasts longing for more.

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