A Renault Sport spokesperson has ruled out returning the Renault Clio RS to its traditional, hardcore enthusiast roots, even with the introduction of a limited edition model.
Renault Sport sales and communications director Regis Fricotte has dismissed any future Clio RS limited edition will be created in the same vein as the third-generation Clio F1 Team R27, especially not one with a manual gearbox.
“If you look at what we’ve done with Clio and Megane in the last 10 years, when we launched in Australia we had a Clio 172, then a Clio 182, then there was Clio III, the 197 and 200, then this one,” explains Fricotte.
“We always look at improving the vehicle that we have, but at the same time we have a certain philosophy and positioning for a vehicle, and we will not do with Clio IV which has a wider target audience, we will not go back to Clio III or what Clio III was good at. It’s a different car.
“Yes we will look in the future at making it better, but not changing its personality.”
Asked directly whether Renault Sport would create any future hardcore limited edition of the fourth-generation Clio RS, Fricotte simply replied “no”.
He also all but ruled out the reintroduction of a manual gearbox to the small hot-hatch range.
“What for? The only gain, or the only positive would be, okay, there are small part of enthusiast base who go to circuit days who would buy it,” he tells.
“But if you take a global picture, I think it would confuse quite a lot of people if we went a complete separate way and say ‘we launched the Clio IV which was about broadening the target audience, matching comfort and performance, no, no, no, we forget that, we go another route … I think it would be very confusing and it doesn’t make sense.
“Improve what we’ve got – yes. Change the philosophy – no”.