Matt Robinson a year ago 59

The Renault Sport Clio Has Been Given A Bunch Of Updates, But Not The One Thing It Needs

Renault has given its hot Clio a makeover, but it still hasn't been given the stick shifter we so crave...

Remind me later

It’s facelift time for the Renault Sport Clio, which can only mean one thing: we can play a little game of spot the difference! Firstly, we’re taking a look at the front, where you’ll notice the snazzier lights in the slightly reshaped lower grille selection.

It’s Renault’s new “multi-faceted LED lighting” setup, which it calls RS Vision. No complaints from us here: they look smart, and are far nicer to look at than the daytime running lights on the pre-facelift car, which had a whiff of ‘afterthought’ about them. The headlight clusters have also been slightly re-designed, and you get the option of a set of new 18-inch alloy wheels.

At the rear, we’re looking at a repositioning of the badges, and, erm, that’s about it. That’s the facelift itself dealt with, so what else is new?

Other than a new optional Akrapovič exhaust, the mechanical aspects of the RS Clio haven’t changed. You still get a choice of three different chassis - Sport, Cup and Trophy - and it’s still putting out 197bhp from a 1.6-litre inline-four, or 217bhp if you get the ‘220’ Trophy. And yes, that means you still only get the option of Renault’s clunky, fun-sapping six-speed dual-clutch gearbox.

With the refreshed Clio RS missing the one thing we want - a manual gearbox - we’ll just have to hold out hope that the amazing Megane-engined RS16 concept ends up spawning a production version.

Still want a regular Clio RS despite the DCT? The facelifted version will go on sale in the UK this September.