The fourth-generation light hatch will be the star of the Renault stand at the Paris motor show in September.
Renault Australia managing director Justin Hocevar told CarAdvice late last year he was determined to bring the full Clio range this time – not just the high-performance Renault Sport models currently offered – and was hopeful of launching it within six months of the car’s international unveiling.
With an anticipated local launch in the first half of 2013, Hocevar said the Clio would be positioned against cars like the Volkswagen Polo and Peugeot 208 – suggesting a starting price around $18,000 – but would also need to be competitive with other light cars from Asia.
The standard Clio IV range will be available only as a five-door hatchback, but will retain its sporty look thanks to hidden rear door handles.
It will be the first Renault to adopt the new design language previewed by the DeZir concept, and is set to feature a badge-hugging grille, clean panels, muscular rear haunches and slim horizontal taillights.
Clio IV will be lower and wider than the current model, and should be approximately 100kg lighter (Clio III weighs 1150kg), leading to improvements in handling and fuel economy.
Our sources tells us a range of powerplants will be offered, including 55kW and 66kW tunes of a 1.5-litre dCi diesel, and petrol engines spanning from a 66kW 900cc three-cylinder to a high-performance four-cylinder with up to 150kW.