Renault Clio R.S. 220; quickest compact FWD around Nurburgring

Brett Davis

We know the new Honda Civic Type R is the quickest production front-wheel drive around the Nurburgring, but now Renault is claiming the new Clio R.S. 220 is the quickest compact hot hatch.



The Renault Clio R.S. 220 was unveiled earlier this year and has just been launched in Australia. It’s based on the R.S. 200 EDC only engine output is boosted from 147kW and 240Nm, to 162kW and 280Nm.

This, along with other enhancements, has helped the pocket rocket post a Nurburgring lap time of just 8:32. Renault claims this is the quickest ever time for a production front-wheel drive in the compact segment (called B segment overseas).

Sport Auto’s Christian Gebhardt piloted the 220 Trophy around the ‘Green Hell’, while also completing flying laps in the rival vehicles such as the Audi S1, MINI JCW, and Opel Corsa OPC, all of which couldn’t match the Clio’s time. The rival times were 8:41, 8:35, and 8:40, respectively.

To put the time into further perspective, the much more powerful Honda Civic Type R holds the overall FWD record with a lap of 7:50. Meanwhile, other vehicles that have achieved a similar time to the Clio include the 1999 Porsche Boxster S (8:32), and 2008 Audi TTS (8:29).

Aside from the enhanced engine the Clio 220 also gets a revised dual-clutch transmission with quicker gearshifts, lowered sports suspension with stiffer springs, along with a 10 per cent quicker steering rack.

Just 220 examples are up for grabs in Australia, priced from $39,990.

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