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Updated: Mar 19

Car of the Month- Renault Clio

Car of the Month- Renault Clio

Hello again friends! From the famous Hudson Hornet of the U.S., let us move on to the small but terrible model of France, the Renault Clio. It is a supermini car produced by the French automobile manufacturer Renault. It was introduced in 1990 and it is in its fifth generation since 2019. It was also credited for restoring Renault's stature. It was also sold as the Renault Lutécia in Japan due to Honda's rights to use the name Clio.

Clio I (1990-1998)

The model was launched at the June 1990 Paris Motor Show. It was a replacement to the hugely successful Renault 5, and the suspension and the floorspan were largely the same as the Renault 5, whicch was then from 1981 Renault 9 saloon and 1988 Renault 11 hatchback. The suspension also used half-width torsion bars with trailing arms at the rear and coil sprung MacPherson struts attached to a thick pressured steel subframe at the front. The model was powered with a 1.2 L or 1.4 E-type "Energy" petrol inline-four engines and 1.7 or 1.9 L diesel F-type engines. The petrol engines later have their carburetors replaced with electronic fuel injection systems in 1992 for compliance with EEC pollutant emission regulations.

A facelift occurred a year after launching, featuring a "smooth" version of the Renault diamond badge and a new front seat.

The Phase 2 of the model was launched at the March 1994 Geneva Motor Show, featuring small updates in both interior and exterior. It also featured a single colorcoded slat in place of two metal ribs in the model's front grille. The badges on the tailgate strip were moved up higher to the tailgate itself, while the tailgate was given a carbon fiber look. The rear light clusters were also given a slightly more rounded bubble shape.

In May 1996, the 1.2 L "Energy" engine was replaced by the 1,149 cc D74 MPI (multi point injection) DiET engine. The cylinder head design on the 1.4 L engine was also altered for better fuel economy. The Phase 3 of the model was also launched, featuring more rounded headlights, incorporating the turn signal with the headlight, and the bonnet curves more around the edges of the lights. The tailgate also incorporates a third brake light and a new script Clio name badge. The model also featured new side impact bars and airbags.

A hatchback variant of the model was also released in 1991, featuring a 110 PS (81kW) 1.8 L 8-valve engine, side skirts, and disc brakes on all wheels. An 1.8 L 16-valve engine producing 137 PS (101kW) capable of propelling the model to 209 kmph (130 mph) was also added in the engine variants of the model.

It was voted European Car of the Year in 1991, and soon become one of Europe’s best-selling car.

Clio Williams

In 1993, the company launched the Clio Williams limited to 3,800 models with each model featuring a numbered plaque on the dash. Due to it being sold out quickly, the company ended producing 1,600 more. It was also followed by the Williams 2 and 3, with more than 12,000 built. The models were also powered by naturally aspirated DOHC with 4 valves per cylinder fed by a Multipoint fuel injection Inline-four engine rated at 147 PS (108kW). It is also capable of propelling the model to 215 kmph (134 mph). The models were also largely a reflection of phase changes throughout the models, therefore making Williams 1 to be the lightest with lacking electrics on the sunroof or the mirrors and the only one supporting a metal plaque stating the build number.

New road cars were also directly converted to race cars, which in turn is damaged and replaced by another converted road car. It led to the actual number of road cars lower than what is suggested.

It was also named after the Renault-powered F1 team WilliamsF1, though the team had nothing to do with the model’s design which was the work of Renault Sport. However, it was also the 1996 F1 Safety Car. It was also rated by respected motoring journalists as one of the best hot hatches made, regardless of era. It was also 3rd place in EVO magazine’s “Greatest Front-Wheel Drive Car Ever” in 2006 and 6th place in the same magazine’s Car of the Decade in 2004.

Clio II (1998-2005)

It was launched on March 8, 1998 and was considerably more rounded and bulbous than it’s previous model. It also featured components made from unusual products such as plastic in the front wings and an aluminum bonnet in some versions. The engine lineup was still retained originally, with a 1.2 L, 1.4 L, and 1.6 L petrol and 1.9 L diesel engines.

In 2000, the model received minor changes including revised specifications, a new instrument cluster, and a passenger airbag deemed standard for all models. The model also received a four-star Euro NCAP later that year, which was class-leading at the time.

The Phase 2 of the model was launched in June 2001, featuring a restyled exterior, a new dashboard and center console including the availability of digital climate control air-conditioning and satellite navigation on top models and a 1.5 L diesel engine added. Another facelift in 2003 featured a revised frontal styling, new dashboard and higher equipments including climate control, cruise control, and xenon headlights. The power output of the engine was raised to 255 PS (188 kW), giving it a top speed of 246 kmph (153 mph). The model also featured a revised with a slightly longer wheelbase and revised suspension together with 18” alloy wheels.

The Phase 3 of the model was launched in 2004, featuring a wide lower grille and bulged-out foglights in the front bumper. The upper grille was also changed and the previously-black headlights were grey. Clean side repeaters and a colorcoded rear spoiler were also added to the model. Changes in the interior included simpler seat patterns, and dials to do away with fuel and water temperature needles, a larger screen including a digital version of the gauges as well as mileage and trip computer. Also, climate control-equipped models were given a vent in the back of the glove box to keep the models climate-controlled. A new dcI engine was also added in the bonnet’s model was also available.

In the 2006 Paris International Agricultural Show, Renault introduced the Hi-Flex Clio II with a 1.6 L 16-valve engine. It also features a flex-fuel technology, making the engine capable of running on blended gasoline and ethanol. The Phase 4 of the model was also launched later that year, featuring a restyled rear end and the number plate relocated to the bumper from the boot.

Clio III (2005-2012)

It was launched at the 2005 Frankfurt Motor Show. It uses a platform shared with the Renault Modus, Nissan Micra, and the Nissan Note. It was also considerably larger and heavier than the previous model, also being more expensive. The model also brought up it’s “Renault Card” trademark, a keyless immobiliser. The model also received a 5-star EuroNCAP safety rating.

A facelift also occurred in 2012, featuring better quality materials in the interior and is better-equipped than the previous model.

The model was also voted European Car of the Year in 2006, becoming the first model to win twice.

Clio IV (2012-2019)

It was launched at the 2012 Paris Motor Show, with the marketing starting a month later. The model was also available in hatchback and estate style. It features 5 doors, with “hidden” rear door handles near the windows, an expanded wheelbase, and an expanded length and width. It also features equipment such as hands-free, rear camera connectivity with more than 50 apps and a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. The model’s engines also ranged from a petrol 1.2 L 16 valve straight-3, a petrol turbocharged 1.6 L four-cylinder engine, a diesel 1.5 dCi straight-4 engine producing 75 hp (56 kW) and 90 hp (67kW).

Clio V (2019-present)

A Clio V was also beginning in production this 2019. It will feature a new modular CMF-B (Common Module Family-B) that will help to improve efficiency of the model, with an option of a hybrid powertrain. It will also feature an E-tech hybrid drivetrain from 2020, a new-generation 1.6 L gasoline engine with two electric motors, a multi-mode gearbox, and a 1.2 kWh battery. It will also be powered by the new turbocharged gasoline or two 1.5 L diesel engine.

Renault Symbol

In 1999, the saloon version of the Clio II was launched, and it was named Clio Symbol in Turkey and Eastern Europe, Thalia in Central Europe, Clio Classic in Asia and North Africa, Clio Sedan in Brazil and Paraguay, and Symbol in the rest of South America except Argentina. It was also facelifted in 2002, featuring a new exterior, better equipment, and safety levels. An improved model was also introduced in the fall of 2006, having it renamed Symbol in Eastern Europe. It featured the interior of the facelifted Clio II, with minor parts shared from Megane II, and standard and optional equipment including automatic air conditioning and a CD player.

The second generation of the model was launched at the 2008 Moscow Motor Show, featuring a chrome-trimmed front grille and rear fascia. It was also longer than the previous model. The thrid generation of the model was also launched at the 2012 Istanbul Motor Show, and it was a rebadged version of the second generation Dacia Logan.



  • Wikipedia Contributors. (2019, December 4). Renault Clio. Retrieved from

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