The first four-wheel-drive Clio was launched at the Pas de la Casa Circuit in Andorra yesterday, Sunday. It’s the work of Renault’s design teams at Viry-Châtillon, the Manufacture Alpine Dieppe Jean Rédélé and BWT Alpine F1 Team’s Enstone factory in the UK.
Built to the FIA’s accessible four-wheel-drive Rally3 regulations and based on the fifth-generation Clio road car, Renault’s all-new rally challenger will be eligible for use on ERC events, once it has completed the governing body’s stringent homologation process, having already covered almost 5000 kilometres of testing on Tarmac and gravel with eight drivers and co-drivers.
Clio Rally3 follows Clio Rally5 and Clio Rally4, which were launched in 2020 and 2021 respectfully to provide the next step on the international rallying, the FIA Rally Pyramid. Both cars have enjoyed considerable success on ERC events.
The all-new Clio Rally3 is powered by a 1.3-litre TCe 16-valve turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with direct injection. Power and torque have increased to 260 hp and 415 Nm after 299 engine map studies. The engine is mated to a five-speed SADEV gearbox with a limited-slip differential.
According to Renault, “specific attention has been paid to the search for performance and reliability thanks to the experience of the teams at Viry-Châtillon. Combined with the expertise of Castrol it has helped to optimise the lubrication of the engine and transmission, which is of particular importance with a four-wheel-drive car”.
The car’s rear spoiler is the work of the BWT Alpine F1 Team’s engineers and “considered to be simple in appearance, but highly effective”.
Clio Rally3 is equipped with state-of-the-art adjustable BOS Suspension dampers, while a Life Racing box controls the electronic management system, integrating the engine and chassis data acquisition system. Several enhanced safety steps have been followed.
With Clio Rally3 expected to be homologated for competition use in April, the car will be eligible for ERC events from May’s Rally Islas Canarias onwards when it will go up against the M-Sport Poland’s Ford Fiesta in the Rally3 category. The Tarmac and gravel versions of the car are both priced at €122,000 excluding VAT.
The 2023 ERC season gets underway in Fafe, Portugal, from March 10-12.