The toughened-up new 2018 Renault Clio RS Trophy goes on sale locally today, priced from $42,990 (drive away).
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Packing a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine that produces 162kW (220hp) of power and 260Nm of torque, the engine is capable of increasing torque output by 20Nm to 280Nm in fourth and fifth gears using an overboost feature.

Like the regular Clio RS models, the Clio RS Trophy is available exclusively with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with launch control.

Ride height has been reduced by 20mm at the front and 10mm at the rear, along with 40 per cent stiffer rear springs and dampers, along with a 10 per cent faster steering rack (featuring a 13.2:1 steering ratio).

Exhaust note is expected to sound even better now, too, thanks to the lightweight Akrapovic turbo back exhaust system.

Helping the Clio RS Trophy achieve a greater power output is a larger turbocharger and revised mapping, with the overboost feature only working in fourth and fifth gears.

With the larger turbocharger comes greater boost pressure, increasing from .96 bar to 1.03 bar, which has helped reduce the 0-100km/h time to 6.6 seconds (from 6.7 seconds).

Renault has even reduced the paddle shifter throw by 30 per cent to decrease shift times, along with adjusting downshift markers to help reduce reliance on brakes for speed reduction.

Keeping the Clio RS Trophy gripping to the road are a set of Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres that measure 205mm wide at each corner, riding on 18-inch alloy wheels.

Inside the cabin, the Clio RS Trophy features black leather sports seats with red highlight stitching and an embroidered RS logo on each headrest. Carbon-look air-vent surrounds, door handles and gear lever base plate are joined by satin chrome air vent inserts.

The Bose premium sound system, optional on Clio RS and Clio RS Cup, is standard on the Clio RS Trophy.

The Clio RS range kicks off with the Clio RS from $30,990 (plus on-road costs), moving on to the Clio RS Cup at $32,490 (plus on-road costs) and finishing at the Clio RS Trophy from $42,990 (drive away). Pricing includes metallic paint and four colours to choose from.