Original test: Renault Clio RT 1.4

Clio is the name of the car that Renault intends to be the successor to the R 5 small car. On a long journey with loud rumbling noises, lousy straight-line stability. The original driving report was published on June 15, 1990 in issue 13.

The digits are to be gradually replaced by real names - this is the declared intention of the French Régie Renault. This was implemented for the first time in the Renault Clio, the successor to the Renault 5. "Investigations in five European countries have shown that it is much more appropriate to use names instead of numbers. We achieve a much higher level of identification and customer loyalty with this," says a Renault press release. ,

Now the name Clio is rarely found even in down-to-earth foreign dictionaries - this is a term from mythology, about the muse of poetry. However, it is doubtful whether Renault has researched all international markets for the naming. Because in Japan, Clio is a widespread small car brand from Honda. Renault doesn't see the Clio as an attack on cars like the VW Golf or the Opel Kadett, but rather as a new challenge in the "area of ​​small cars like the Peugeot 205, Fiat Uno, Ford Fiesta or Volkswagen Polo" (Renault press release). With the Clio, Régie wants to supply a segment that in 1989, with 3.7 million registrations, was able to achieve a market share of 27 percent in Europe. All in all, the Clio will be built with 45 engine and equipment variants, of which only four will reach all of Renault's partner countries. The so-called Grande Exportation includes two engine versions with displacements of 1.2 and 1.4 liters, plus two equipment packages.

The Clio is to be manufactured in four Renault plants with a daily production of 2,850 cars.

But Renault can't completely get away from the old naming. At least this is made clear by the abbreviations of the three equipment variants, which were divided into RL, RN and RT, with increasing demands for comfort. The highest level of Clio equipment is offered by the RT model, which can be supplied with everything the French brand has in mind for this class. These include electric windows as well as central locking or, as an option, an anti-lock braking system and power steering. Inside, the Clio has remained a typical Renault. The seats are comfortably upholstered, although the seat could have been a little longer. The instruments and switches are familiar sizes, with clear round instruments and switches that are easy to reach. It should also be mentioned here that the Clio RT also has a rear bench that can be folded down in parts, which considerably increases the loading volume. In addition, the trunk is smooth and kept without corners and edges. ,

In terms of external dimensions, the Clio clearly surpasses the R 5. The wheelbase, for example, increased from 2,407 to 2.472 millimeters, the length from 3,591 to 3,709 millimeters. In terms of width and height, the Clio also announces the message that it wants to be one step above the Renault 5 in the future - growth of more than 50 and around eight millimeters can be seen here. Incidentally, it should be noted that the Clio has the same external dimensions with both the two- and four-door body. The body of the new Renault rests on a chassis whose main features have been taken over from its predecessor. A McPherson construction on the front axle should be mentioned here, as well as the torsion beam axle at the rear with the extremely sloping shock absorbers that are typical of the R 5 Renault. The Clio's brakes: discs are used at the front, while drum brakes are used at the rear. Four disc brakes and an anti-lock braking system from Bosch are only available in the Clio version with a 1.7 liter engine that is not sold in Germany. Only the 1.2 and 1.4 liter petrol engines with catalytic converters are available on the German market, as well as a 1.9 liter diesel.

The snout can only be guessed at

Rust protection and aerodynamics were also key issues in the construction of the Clio. Almost 50 percent of the Clio sheets are galvanized or otherwise galvanically pre-treated. And when it comes to the wind tunnel, Renault assigns the new model a drag coefficient of cd=0.32 as the best mark, which would be a respectable result for a car of these dimensions. However, this model also illustrates the disadvantages of a body formed in a wind tunnel. The snout of the car can only be guessed at from the driver's point of view, the very sloping windscreen heats up the interior considerably when the sun is shining. ,

The Renault Clio RT's transversely mounted 1.4 liter engine with 79 hp makes the car a lively participant on the road. This is undoubtedly a torque motor that has its strongest points at medium speeds. At the same time, this engine is no wonder when it comes to smooth running - droning noises spoil the overall impression. As a consolation, this Renault has a five-speed gearbox that has almost Japanese shifting qualities. The chassis of the Clio is a prime example of the search for a compromise between comfort and sportiness. The result was a tuning that still has typical French qualities on the comfort side, but also allows for sporty use. The fact that the chassis sometimes transmits loud rumbling noises to the interior, and that the directional stability is in need of improvement, should still be written in the specifications of the Clio designers. The Clio came to Germany in November 1990, costing just under 16,000 marks for the basic engine. He will certainly be a serious competitor for VW Polo and Co. ,


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