Still unsure about the all-new Clio’s 5-door body style? Reckon it looks a little.. dumpy? Perhaps you feel the Clio Renaultsport 200 Turbo has grown up too far and lost some of its predecessor’s impish charm? Well, before you decide, take a look at the new 2013 Clio Cup which made its first appearance at Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet last weekend, for the latest round of World Series by Renault.
The event, which saw « Le Professeur » Alain Prost take to the wheel of a Red Bull Racing RB6 F1 car, also saw the first track outing for next season’s Eurocup Clio.
The 2013 Clio Cup is based on the all-new Clio Renaultsport 200 EDC – powered by an upgraded version of the road car’s 1.6 litre direct-injection turbo-charged engine, the interior of the race car is stripped out and reinforced by a welded-in roll cage.
“The new Clio Cup combines the passion for driving shared by Renault Sport’s teams, Renault’s motorsport heritage and the design and the technology of the new Clio,” said the Renault COO.
“The Clio Cup is a flagship category for Renault and continues in the tradition of the legendary R8 Gordini Cup,” said Patrice Ratti, Managing Director Renault Sport Technologies. “The qualities of this little hot hatch are showcased time and again by a whole host of talented motorsport lovers in both the national championships and Eurocup Clio, which serve up some spectacular racing.”
“The direct-injection turbo-charged engine offers high torque at low revs, which means the new car has to be driven in a different way to the existing version of the Clio Cup,” explained Francois Champod, Renault Sport Competition Director. “It’s a fantastic race car, and is less expensive to run in a category in which a level playing field in technical terms is a core element. Everything is set up for the new Clio Cup to achieve just as much success as the previous generation.”
Four-time Formula 1 World Champion Alain Prost, who only recently became a global ambassador for Renault, has agreed to help develop Renault’s new 1.6-litre V6 turbo engine due to be introduced in 2014 (or not, if Bernie Ecclestone has his way).
57-year-old Prost said, “Driving a modern Formula 1 car is very helpful, and maybe I have another chance to do it with the new engine in the next two months. That would be another good experience.”
“I am already thinking about the new technology coming in Formula 1 with the new engines. I am going to work very hard with Renault on that; it is our new target,” he added.
The event was a great opportunity for Renault Sport enthusiasts to celebrate the full range of models, but has it changed your view on the not-so-compact new Clio?
The new Clio Cup will be make its competitive debut in the 2013 Eurocup Clio season, and will be produced at the Renault Alpine factory in Dieppe alongside the Clio Renaultsport 200 road car.