The new range Renault Clio will arrive in 2013.
The new range Renault Clio will arrive in 2013.

Breaking more ground

RENAULT has confirmed it will take on the likes of Volkswagen's Polo, Honda's Jazz and Ford's Focus in 2013 with the arrival of its new city car, the Clio.

The current generation Clio is only available in a high-spec, high-performance Renault Sport variant, the RS200, which is expensive even by hot hatch standards at $36,490 plus costs.

But the new range is set to bring the French brand into the entry-level segment of the market, with Renault Australia confirming it will offer a number of variants of the new Clio when it arrives here around June 2013.

The new model, a five-door only car, is expected to play a crucial role in the car maker's fortunes Down Under, with Renault Australia CEO Justin Hocevar confirming the new model range will be comprehensive.

"We're going to open it up to a number of other markets, including diesel and petrol," Hocevar said.

The company confirmed the new Clio will also be available with both manual and automatic transmissions, but wouldn't be drawn to comment on the possibility of whether the cheaper, more frugal but less powerful three-cylinder petrol engines would be offered here.

Instead, it is expected Renault will offer a 1.4-litre petrol and 1.5-litre turbo diesel.

It is expected the new model will be positioned among its chief rivals such as the Ford Focus, VW Polo and Honda Jazz, with pricing expected to start close to $17,000.

Renault Australia also confirmed the new hot hatch RS Clio models will only be available with a dual-clutch automatic transmission, doing away with years of tradition which has seen the sportier models offered only with manual gearboxes.

The new Clio RS is due here late in 2013.


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