The facelifted Clio RS 200, in this case with the Cup chassis, is more fun than a cheap hatch has any right to be.
Everything is essentially the same as the old version, though new chequered-flag headlights, or RS Vision, are new and now aim where you steer. Purists beware, though, it’s still dual-clutch-only.
Fortunately, that’s easily made up for by the way the car handles. An excellent chassis proves very communicative, happy to let you know exactly how hard you can turn in to a corner. Even if you stuff up your entry, seemingly endless lift-off oversteer allows you to sharpen your line.
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Shifts can become quite sharp (and make a little ‘brap’) when Race Mode is active, but there is a downside. Race automatically switches the Clio’s traction and stability control off, and there’s no way around it.
Inside, seats are heated, and visually it holds up well, especially at its price point. It’s also comfortable enough – just – around town thanks to 18-inch wheels, but its Sport brother is more softer, while the more powerful Trophy version is the track day pick.
If you want a true daily proposition, there’s always the Polo GTI, but you won’t have nearly as much fun when Sunday rolls around.
2018 RENAULT CLIO RS 200 CUP SPECS:
Engine: 1.6-litre, inline-4 turbo
Power: 147kW @ 6050rpm
Torque: 260Nm @ 2000rpm