Priced from $39,990 plus on-road costs, the RS220 demands a $2500 premium over the RS200 Cup Premium, while sitting a whopping $10,500 above the most affordable Clio RS model, the 200 Sport.
But, if the limited available of just 220 vehicles wasn’t enough, the hottest Clio RS offers more than a few compelling reasons to buy.
On the power front, Renault Sport has dialled outputs from the RS220’s 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine up to 164kW and 260Nm, marking an increase of 15kW and 20Nm over the regular RS200 models.
That’s all thanks to a larger turbo, a redesigned air intake, updated exhaust and new engine mapping, along with the addition of a ‘torque boost’ function in fourth and fifth gear.
Beyond that, the French carmaker’s tuning arm says it has tweaked the six-speed dual-clutch auto to deliver 30 per cent faster shifts, thanks in part to steering-wheel gear paddles that now have less travel on shifts.
Firmer shock absorbers and hydraulic bump stoppers are added into the mix, along with a suspension setup that’s now 20mm lower at the front and 10mm lower at the rear, all riding on 18-inch ‘Radicale’ alloy wheels wrapped in 205/40 Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres.
There’s also enhancements to steering, with a 10 per cent reduced ratio - from 14.5:1 to 13.2:1 - promising a more direct feel.
In the cabin, there’s an embossed leather-trim steering wheel, heated leather sports seats, and a satin chrome finish to the gear lever base and air-vent inserts in place of the usual anodized red.
“The Clio RS range has been extremely popular in the Australian market so we’re very pleased to be able to expand the range with this limited edition and offer something special to Australian buyers” says Justin Hocevar, Managing Director of Renault Australia.
This special is bound to be a hot seller for Renault in Australia, with even the regular Clio RS proving wildly popular.
Speaking with CarAdvice last month, Renault Australia communications manager Emily Fadeyev highlighted the hot-hatch’s success.
“As at the end of October 2015, we’ve sold 611 Clio R.S. year-to-date, versus 312 for the Megane RS,” Ms Fadeyev said.