Renault's old, three-door-only Clio RS cost from $36,490 but a flood of new keenly priced competitors has pushed Renault Australia to bring down the entry price for the new five-door-only model.
The pricing of the latest-generation Renault Clio RS positions it higher than the just-released $25,990 Ford Fiesta ST but it undercuts the comparable five-door Volkswagen Polo GTI ($29,190) and the also-new Peugeot 208 GTi ($29,990).
It will become a proper range-topping model this time around now that Renault Australia is selling the regular Clio range, introduced this year from $16,790.
Renault Australia was initially planning to bring the more track-focused Cup version of the Clio RS to Australia, generally preferred by local buyers, but has decided to offer the Sport version as well that sits 3mm higher and has a softer suspension tune.
Pricing for the Cup edition will be released closer to the Clio RS's local launch.
The Renault Clio RS200 switches from the old 2.0-litre four-cylinder to a 1.6-litre turbocharged four, coupled with a new dual-clutch auto rather than a manual gearbox.
Power remains at 147kW but torque increases by 25Nm to 240Nm.
Renault Australia wasn't due to import the latest version of its most famous city car until the first quarter of 2014 but will now launch the Clio RS200 on 10th December.
Read CarAdvice's Renault Clio RS200 Review.