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We drive Renault's fiery Clio RS 18 F1 limited edition hot hatch in Pretoria

2018-05-30 08:30

Janine Van der Post

Renault has launched a limited edition Clio RS 18 F1 to celebrate its 40 years in Formula 1. Janine Van der Post drives the new hot hatch in Pretoria both on track and on the road...

Renault has a rich heritage in motorsport and to mark its 40-year racing legacy in Formula 1, the French automaker has launched a collector's edition Clio built from the Clio RS 220 EDC Trophy.

Renault launched its current Clio RS in May 2017 in two versions - Lux and Trophy. The new RS 18 F1 edition is a limited edition variant of the Trophy, so limited in fact that there are only 65 units for the local market.

It's powered by a 1.6-litre turbo engine delivering 162kW/280Nm mated to a six-speed EDC dual-clutch.

This version comes with a few subtle, and not so subtle enhancements to make it distinctive from the Trophy RS version launched in 2017. It has grey RS decals on the roof, while the front Renault badge on the grille, along with the badging on the rear of the car are all in black paint to match the car's body colour - to name a few differences.

Other than great aesthetic enhancements, there is really not much difference between the two.

What's it like to drive?

It's absolutely thrilling to drive and probably the most exciting Clio RS I have driven yet. Back in the day, one would have to modify the heck out of an older generation model to even dream of coming close to the kind of performance the new generation can output.

Thanks to its Akrapovic exhaust system, the Clio RS 18 F1 sounds rambunctious when you're planting your foot down. Its cacophonous sound is addictive and the EDC six-speed dual-clutch mated to the 1.6-litre turbo engine delivers a loads of fun around the track and on the road.

Whether you're entering hard into a corner at Zwartkops, braking before the apex or pushing the little beast as hard as you can out of a bend, the Clio RS's handling and performance is worth the money you'll be spending on this hot hatch.

Here's what you should know

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