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Renault facelifts, boosts Clio

2009-02-06 07:28
Renault’s third generation Clio will be shown with a sharpened visage, GT performance derivative and integrated GPS at the Geneva motor show soon.

Styling updates include comprehensive colour coding treatment for all exterior body panels, rectangular front headlights and a larger below-bumper air intake. These new details render a front view more in line with Clio’s larger Megane and Laguna siblings and majors on geometric proportions, moving Clio’s styling away from its current, ovoid design theme.

Integrated GPS from the lowlands

The minimalist interior design is left largely untouched, but for the optional integrated navigation system, a co-branded exercise with Dutch GPS specialists TomTom.

Sporting a 14.7cm colour screen (larger than portable GPS systems) the Clio’s Carminat GPS is able to display bird-eye view maps, render speed limit information and traffic warnings.  It’s also able to locate euphemistically named ‘safety’ cameras too – which is quite ironic considering the Dutch invented the speed camera.

Junior R27?

For Clio drivers keen on a sportier experience, without going all out for one of the Dieppe prepared Renaultsport products, there is the new GT option.

Aesthetically the GT features distinguishing dual exhausts pipes and a rear lip spoiler, whilst the revised side sills and a gloss black front grille round off the styling package.

The car’s exclusive Malta Blue colour scheme (echoing early Clio 197s) and lowered ride height (thanks to performance orientated GT suspension) should ensure it makes the grade as a junior RS hot hatch image machine.

No engine details for the GT are available as yet. Expect 2l power though, in a state of tune somewhere between the 99kW and 145kW versions seen in the Laguna/Megane and frantic Clio Sport locally.

The facelifted Clio range is due to go on sale in Europe by the second quarter.


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