New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

The iconic Grand Prix Circuit will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack on June 16.

Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

Driven: Renault Clio RS Trophy

2017-08-14 07:55

Sean Parker

Image: Warren Wilson / Wheels24

Cape Town - The Clio RS in its current form is a departure from the model that made the hot hatch famous among petrolheads. 

The Clio RS has grown up and while some may sneer at that, the fourth-generation French hatchback is much easier to live with. It has four doors, an automatic gearbox and a decent size boot. 

A 1.6-litre engine powers the hot hatch and in Trophy form churns out a massive 162kW/280Nm thanks to help from Renault's Formula 1 team. The automaker claims a 6.6 second 0-100km/h time. 

Is it quick off the line?

Yes, the dual-clutch gearbox with massive paddles attached to the steering column allow for quick changes in RS mode (which is prompted via a button on the lower fascia). 

The RS also features an electronic differential and a bespoke Akaprovic exhaust. If you fiddle through the RS menu it's possible to change the 'exhaust' note to a few other cars including an old Clio RS race car. 

30 second walk around of 's latest Clio RS, this one's in Trophy ?? spec which has 162kW/290Nm. Akrapovic exhaust is standard.

— Sean Parker ?? (@Sean_ParkerSA)

Another cool feature is the monitor that allows you to check everything from a lap-timer to throttle positions, brake pedal applications, gearbox oil temperature and even how much G-force you're generating. 

The data is there if you're into track days and that sort of thing, oh and you can store it on an SD card. Nice one Renault. 

A late Saturday afternoon drive covering Ou Kaapse weg, over Red Hill in Simonstown and then eventually making a u-turn at Cape Point showed off the Trophy's good and bad traits. It's grippy handling and involving ride come at a price - a rock-hard ride. 

Having an awesome Saturday afternoon blast on some epic roads in the Clio RS ??. It packs 162kW from its fettled 1.6T engine.

— Sean Parker ?? (@Sean_ParkerSA)

The Trophy was in its element as I twisted and turned the nimble front-wheel drive hatch up Red Hill with a massive grin on my face because it's incredibly exciting. It's possible to drive the Trophy on the edge, it's that type of car. A thrilling sensation. 

On the straighter sections of my route, there was ample opportunity to stretch the little 1.6-litre turbo's legs. It felt stable on a couple on the b-roads, even when picking up speed.

Image: Warren Wilson

In summary, the Trophy is a selfish choice in that it's let down by the super harsh ride and at R419 900 the Trophy is an expensive proposition.

Overall, it's a superb driving tool with a high build-quality. It offers an involving drive that doesn't guzzle too much fuel and is able to seat four adults. If you're looking for a hot hatch from folks who know how to make excellent front-wheel drive hot hatches, look no further. 

The Clio RS needed to grow up (seat four, dual-clutch 'box and a turbocharged engine) to compete. And boy does it compete. 

Image: Warren Wilson

Read more on:    renault  |  sean parker  |  south africa  |  new models


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