Likely to go on sale in the middle of 2019, the fifth-generation Clio will mark a big step forward for the popular small French car in order to take on the likes of the latest Ford Fiesta, VW Polo and SEAT Ibiza. An electrified powertrain option and basic semi-autonomous driving assistance features are expected to be big new additions.
The teaser video doesn’t give much away, but hints at some of the new car’s details. The front will carry the typical oversized badge in the centre of the Renault family grille design, while a chrome strip on the lower edge of the door displays ‘Clio’ lettering. Further shots show the interior trim, seat upholstery and the steering wheel centre of a cabin that’s expected to be packed full of tech. The video ends with a date – 28 January – when more information is set to be released.
Renault’s designers will also take the opportunity to give the supermini a new lease of life; introducing the new family face seen on the likes of the Megane and the Koleos. The prototype mules we’ve seen so far still wear plenty of masking, but it’s clear that the basic shape remains similar to the current car. However, we expect many of the Clio’s details, such as the new grille, to draw inspiration from the Renault Symbioz concept. Our exclusive images (below) preview how it could look.
The cabin will undergo a dramatic overhaul, according to Renault’s design boss Laurens van den Acker. A much larger, portrait-style touchscreen will dominate the dash, featuring the latest smartphone connectivity apps.
Van den Acker has previously said his design team needs to work on making future Renaults’ interiors as appealing as the exteriors, so expect a big jump in material quality will give a more premium feel, too.
The new Clio will be based on an updated version of the current car’s CMF-B platform in order to reduce development costs. That means a conventional range of petrol engines will be made available to buyers, including the new turbocharged 1.3-litre along with a revised version of the 0.9-litre three-cylinder turbo. Given the higher price point and current market trend away from diesel, it’s unclear whether Renault will offer the Clio with any dCi engines.
What will appear in the Clio for the first time will be a mild hybrid powertrain. This should make use of a small petrol engine paired with 48V electrics to help reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. This type of electrification has been chosen because of its relative simplicity and affordability; Renault bosses have ruled out a plug-in hybrid version of the Clio, however.
Another way to help improve economy without passing on huge costs to consumers is by reducing the model’s overall weight. Renault will take lessons learned from the 2014 Eolab concept to help strip unnecessary kilos out of the car; this could include using aluminium in the construction, thinner glass and a simplified braking system.
The Clio will also play a part in the French manufacturer’s push towards electrified and autonomous vehicles. By 2022, Renault is aiming to have eight fully electric and 12 hybrid cars, along with autonomous tech rolled out across 15 models. The brand has committed more than 18 billion Euros into R&D, which will go towards helping develop the technology.
The autonomous tech fitted to the Clio will allow the driver to hand over control of the vehicle’s speed and steering function to the car itself. Laws dictate that the driver must have their hands on the steering wheel at all times, however.
How Symbioz provides clues to Renault’s future designs
A prototype version of the Renault Symbioz concept from the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show demonstrated the Level 4 autonomous functionality Renault predicts it will have on the road by 2023.
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