Road Tests

Renault Clio GT-Line is a stealthy hot hatch

Introducing a GT-Line to the Clio IV range tells a story beyond the car itself. It speaks of a company that isn’t resting on its laurels or laying in the SA sun enjoying the good life. Renault continues to push the boundaries and try new things. Examples such as the Kadjar XP or the recently updated Sandero Stepway range prove the point. And of course, this new Renault Clio GT-Line.

In 2017, the Clio IV has been united with more than 250 owners every month, despite a flailing economy and hard-hit automotive sector.  It is quite possibly the only car in this segment that remains an object of desire primarily because of how good it looks. The consumer iteration of that sensual DeZir concept is now further enhanced by a sportier and distinct Clio GT-Line.

If you know your Clios, you’ll spot the exterior styling changes immediately. There’s a titanium-grey theme, the focal point which starts at the alloy wheels moving out to the mirror housings, fog lights, rear diffuser and bootlid. C-Shaped LED’s finish off an altogether unique look.

The magic continues inside the cabin as the classic RS touches are immediately noticeable. The RS team were only too happy to lend a hand. The front seats are as sporty as they come offering ample bolstering and support, but I did find them slightly hard as we racked up the mileage on our scenic test route. The steering wheel and ‘Zamac’ gear lever also adds an extra touch of sporty enthusiasm to the cabin but these are complemented by silver accented air vent surrounds and speedo clusters.

The real genius behind this Clio GT-Line is the welcome addition of a bona-fide 6-speed manual transmission. I know there is a case to be made for an EDC option, but this 88kW, 205Nm 1.2-litre turbocharged motor mated to a sporty, accurate and direct-shifting 6-speed transmission has vastly transformed this car into a driver-focused little hatch. The torque is laid on from very low in the rev range and just before the life is wrung from the tiny mill at the higher end of the rev range, you can throw it into a higher gear (slick as you like) and continue the fun.

Standard on the Clio GT-Line is the full suite of features including a 7-inch infotainment system offering functional connectivity and applications, typical of the French manufacturer. Cruise control, keyless entry and a smart walk-away locking system are but some of the other standard features.

A creative Renault outfit has again led us into temptation for a beautiful, exciting new Clio that I’m sure will add to their sales in good measure. It is not an RS and should never be confused for trying to be one. The RS is in fact coming soon, but pricing and hardcore bent, will only widen the appeal Clio of the GT-Line.

  • SPECIFICATION
  • 1197cc, 4-cyl turbo petrol FWD,88kW,205Nm, 6MT
  • 5.3l/100km,118g/km Co2
  • 0-100km/h in 9secs, 199km/h
  • 1186kg
  • Verdict: Almost resurrects the original idea of hot hatch

 

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