Even before the crazy Clio RS16 concept had its full reveal, people were speculating that a production version would almost certainly be sent to Germany to snatch back the front-wheel drive Nurburgring record for Renault. And we can see why: Renault has a track record of setting amazing willy waving Nurburgring laps, and with a 271bhp Megane RS engine (plus manual ‘box) in such a small package, the RS16 promises to be outrageously quick. However, it won’t be quick enough in the right places, according to Renault Sport boss Patrice Ratti.
Talking to Top Gear, Ratti said: “I’m not sure we’ll be quick enough. The Trophy R [Megane] was still quicker in the corners, but there are long straights at the Nürburgring, where the extra horsepower counts.” The current record holder - the VW Golf Clubsport S - puts out a mighty 306bhp, a healthy 35bhp more than the Clio.
The car may not be put into production either, with Ratti telling TG of all the various cost issues and other hurdles. “It’s working it onto the Dieppe production line alongside the other Clios and the new Alpine, and getting the body panels made by small-scale suppliers,” he said.
For now, we’ll just have to cross our fingers…