05 February 2009

In your face

Renault Clio gets a shouty new front end, and an all-new hot edition…

Renault Clio GT

Check out more pictures of Renault's facelifted Clio.

Mid-life facelifts tend to be subtle, blink-and-you’ll-miss-‘em affairs. Not so in the case of the Renault Clio, which is coming to the Geneva show in March with a shouty new front end and a new hotish version.

That facelift, first. Pretty striking, isn’t it? The Clio gets a bunch of dynamic cues carried over from the new Megane – there’s a squarer, deeper grille at the front, while at the back the rear lights have been sharpened, and the fog lights and reversing lights have been pushed out to the far corners.

In all, it’s a much squatter appearance with, if we’re being fanciful, just a bit of the old Clio V6 about it. Maybe.

The car in the photos, it must be stressed, is the new ‘GT’ version, a hotish Clio that slots between the Dynamique and the actually-hot Renaultsport 197 in the line-up.

Milder versions will get less pronounced side sills and a slightly more gentle front end (oh, and just the single tail pipe), along with a whole load of other colours: the GT will only be available in this very fetching shade of blue.

Trouble is, we don’t know how powerful it’ll be. Or, indeed, what engine it gets. We like the idea of a heavily warmed-up version of Renault’s 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine, though a slightly more powerful iteration of the 1.6-litre naturally-aspirated unit in the Renaultsport Twingo 133 would do us just fine, too.

We’ll reveal all in Geneva.

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