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It's update time for the Renault Sport Clio

New lights, a loud exhaust, but still no manual: meet the latest Clio hot hatch

Renault has updated its Clio RS hot hatchback. And happily, some of the inspiration comes from the madcap RS16 concept car.

That doesn’t extend to the 271bhp Megane RS engine or six-speed manual gearbox (alas), but it does mean some new, um, lights. Meet ‘RS Vision’.

What sounds a bit OTT is actually quite cool: note the lighting at the extremities of the Clio’s front bumper. Shaped like the Renaultsport logo, those shapes incorporate the fog lights and cornering lights.

More exciting than some new bulbs, though, is the option of a properly rorty Akrapovic exhaust system. It should help boost the character of the Clio’s 1.6-litre turbo engine no end, while shedding a wee bit of weight, too.

Power and chassis options remain as before: there’s a standard, 197bhp Clio which comes with the option of a tougher Cup chassis, and 17- or 18-inch wheels.

The one you want, though, remains the 220 Trophy. It has 217bhp, lower suspension yet, and a more focused demeanour overall. It also hits 62mph in 6.6secs and goes onto a 146mph top speed. Yep, one-four-six. In a Clio.

But as we touched on at the start, it’s still a six-speed paddleshifter or nothing. For now, at least: our hope is that the gloriously daft RS16 inspires a manual comeback here, much like we’ve seen elsewhere in the performance car industry.

Want to know just what the RS16 is like? Worry not: drives it very, very soon…

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