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Renault Clio 16v

GRAN TURISMO CAR REVIEWS

clio_battle.jpg
big clio / little clio

SPEX

Years Represented: 1999-2002 ````````````````````` Type: Compact Hatchback
 
Country: France ``````````````````````````````````` Host: GT2 & GT4
 
 
Price: $22,380 (GT2) /// $29,700 (GT4)

Construction: unit steel
Length: 148.5" // Width: 64.5" // Height: 55.0"
Wheelbase: 97"
Overhang: @4' 3"
Track: 55.5" [F] 54.5" [R]
Ground Clearance: 5.9"
Weight: 2,414 lbs. (GT2) 2,281 pounds (GT4)
Tires: 185/60R-14 (GT2) 195/50R-15 (GT4)
F. Suspension: MacPherson strut, coils, anti-roll bar
R. Suspension: trailing arms, torsion beam, coils, anti-roll bar
Brakes: vented disc / drum (GT2) vented disc / solid disc (Gt4)
Layout: Front Engine / Front Drive
 
Engein: 2.0 liter DOHC inline 4
GT2 Tested HP: 108 @ 5,900 rpms
GT2 Torque: ```
111 @ 3,500 rpms

GT4 Final BHP: 179 @ 6,250 rpms
GT4 fnl Torque: 157 @ 5,400 rpms

Aspiration: normal
Fuel System: EFi
Valves / Cyl: 4
Bore x Stroke: 3.26 x 3.66"
Compression: 11.0:1 (Clio Sport version-GT4)
 
```````````````GT2````````````````````GT4``````````
Credits / HP: $207.22        $165.92
Lbs. per HP:  22.35          12.74
Hp per Liter: 64.0              89.6

GT2 Redline: 7,000 // RPM Limit: 8,000
GT4 Redline: 6,500 // RPM Limit: 7,000
Transmission: 5-speed manual
 
``````````````GT2`````````````````````````````````````GT4`````````
0-60 mph: 11.4 seconds               8.633 seconds
0-100mph: 34.1 seconds             19.350 seconds
 
Mile: 18.270 @ 77 mph         16.614 @ 92 mph
1 KM: ``
33.289 @ 99 mph          29.068 @ 119 mph
Test Track: 2:13.391                           N/A

Brakes 100-zero: N/A                   3.21 seconds
Top Gear RPM at 60 mph: 2,950
 
GT2 Top Speed at Redline (unless indicated otherwise)
1st: 36 mph (8,100 rpm)
2nd: 62 mph (7,600 rpm)
3rd: 89 mph
4th: 122 mph
5th: 126.8 mph @ 5,800 rpms

GT4 Top Speed at Redline
1st: 30 mph
2nd: 60 mph
3rd: 85 mph
4th: 110 mph
5th: 144.80 mph @7,000 rpms (tach limited)  
 

EXTERIOR
 
Does anybody remember the Renault 5? Probably not, unless you grew up in Europe or some other area where Renault 5s had a longer life. Renaults and other French cars have never been very popular in America, so maybe this will refresh some of our memories: they were those odd-looking cars from the early '80s, and on the side of the door was a decal which said 'Le Car'. Ahh, I knew that would jog some of you!

It seems this was (perhaps) an American marketing trick to move a few extra of these silly vehicles. I doubt they ever fell for this nonsense over in Europe, but I could be wrong of course. The fad lasted a few years and apparently died out, but nowadays you can still find one of these Le Car Renault 5s here and there (mostly there).
 
Well, the Clio is a derivative of the Le Car/  Renault 5. It is just as worthy without relying on tacky decals, but we won't find any Clios outside of Canada, perhaps. Renault has shelved any hopes of conquering the States like the Japanese were able to do. However, the Clio was, is, and perhaps always will be a strong seller in Europe, and is even rebadged to sell in various markets around the world, where smaller cars are desired by many. There are many real-life versions of the Clio ... so many ... I got a small headache trying to locate info on the two 16v versions of this review.

When I think of the Clio, I like to think of grade school. Some Clios are extremely basic weaklings, with tiny 1.2 liter engines. I like to think these are the ones just starting elementary school ... perhaps in first grade. Other Clios (like super-sport V6 models) seem like those big, brutal jocks you'd find in high school. The Clios of this review fall somewhere in between; perhaps if they were pupils, we'd find them somewhere in middle school.

The 16v of GT2, with its 2.0 liter engine (the largest of Clio 4-cylinder engines available are 2.0 liters) is that nerdy student in 6th grade, full of promise, but ultimately falling short with failing grades (more on THIS later!). Finally, the 16v of GT4 (which is actually termed a "Sport", despite carrying that same 2.0 liter) is like an 8th grader looking forward to high school, where the big boys get to stalk.

These hatchbacks have dimensions similar to a lot of other compacts: length of 148.5", width: 64", height: 55", not too much overhang ... plenty of wheelbase. The car's weight of 2,414 pounds (GT2) and 2,281 pounds (GT4) is a little heavy if you're comparing this car to the mighty 2,142 Civic CR-X; that benchmark of front-drives. Unfortunately, we can only get the Clo's weight down to 2,220 in GT2, but the GT4 version falls to Civic country at 2,173

We  can buy this car in a large variety of colors in the second game, which is actually one of the only advantages you'll get if you buy a GT2 Clo! But the car in GT4 can only be had in just four colors! Perhaps this is because it's a "Sport" model? I'm not sure.
 

clio_sparks.jpg

ENGINE / DRIVETRAIN

GT2
This car features a 2.0 liter DOHC inline-4 engine with electronic fuel injection and 4 valves per cylinder. This is mated to a 5-speed. The Clio is front-wheel drive. Anybody shocked? Didn't think so.
 
Well the first surprise comes AFTER we buy the Clio 16v in this game, and take it to the infamous Test Track. Okay, so the manufacturer quotes a healthy 171 HP. Okay, not bad. But when we test it, we find out that it REALLY only has 108. This is the GT2 version I'm talking about, not the one in GT4. Anyways, that's a difference of 63 horses! Merde!!!

When testing the Clio 16v (which hit 0-60 mph in 11.4 seconds, 0-100 in about 34) you know the tested figure (108 horses) is the accurate one! Top speed is 126.8 mph, with the engine revving at only 5,800 rpm, even though the red-line is 7,000. This is the classic indication of poor high-end torque, but it doesn't help that the Clio's face probably has a somewhat high drag coefficient.

For any of you who have bought a Clo in GT2 (not the Clio Sport V6, I'm talking about the one with the 4-cylinder engine costing $22,380) you have my sympathy. This difference in quoted versus test figures is the largest error I've yet seen in any Gran Turismo 2 vehicle. If I were buying one of these in real life I'd be pissed, man!
 
So the solution is to go and buy some engine upgrades, right? Now here's shock #2!
 
I went and got the ROM computer and port polishing...engine balancing would have to wait till I won more money/races. Then I went to get a turbo. Hmmm...no turbo. Okay, so let's check out the NA tuning. No normal-aspirated tuning either!?? What the hell? Now just who was responsible for THIS goof?!!! When comparing the Clio to other European hatchbacks, this lack up upgrades really seems out of place. Want to mod a Peugeot 106? A Citron Saxo? An Italian Lancia Y??? It can be done. But the Clio 16v has been oddly forgotten...just another casualty in GT2's long, long list of mistakes.
 
Gearing is tall, especially that all-important 2nd to 3rd shift-up. It's recommended to get the close ratio gearbox, as well as a lighter flywheel for flat courses, and single-plate clutch. Actually, to be honest, don't get any of this stuff. This is one of those cars that you should really steer clear of, unless you don't care much about engine upgrades. Or winning.


GT4
Thankfully, PD didn't screw up in this game. Here the front-drive Clio 16v gets much further than the car in GT2 could ever dream of. Sunday Cup, FF Challenge, some Professional races, Compact Car events (both the WCCS and the Euro Hot Hatch series), and of course the Clio Cup can all be added with the GT4 Clio 16v. To attack the Clio Cup (which is run against full racing cars with rear drive), you'll need at least a Stage 2 turbo at Suzuka, but a Stage 1 elsewhere. Racing tires & brakes, full-custom limited-slip, full weight reduction, and a wing are also needed, but it is very possible to win against these in a front-drive 16v. Speaking of upgrades, there are three power-ups of each (both turbo and natural) to be had. At the most, a Clio Sport 16v packs an impressive 360 bhp in this game with a Stage 3 turbo system.
 
The way this power is delivered, however, will either please or piss drivers off. This is a very smooth powerplant...especially when power is lowish, yet useful revs reside safely in just a 2,000 rpm area for the most part, with peak hp just a few rpms before redline. Which means: despite the semi-wide torque band, pay close attention to gear-shifting in this car. Or else. But as I was saying, it's a smooth powerplant, even with a Stage 2 turbo system. Firecracker moments of front-end wheelspin simply don't happen often (except off the line from a dead stop in first gear), so that the Clio 16v may feel a bit dull to some drivers. This changes with upgrades, thankfully.

CHASSIS / HANDLING

GT2
Not much to say here (but I'm sure I'll fill a lot of empty space, anyways).

The Clio understeers like most any FF car will do, oversteer is rare and controllable. The car's stock tires do okay for easier races, and you might find you'll need sport tires eventually--but you'll never win the Sunday Cup series in a 16v, the engine is too frickin' weak. Any other concerns?
 
The Clio 16v is also too slow to compete in the FF Challenge and most B license races. It's too over-powered to enter two of the K Cup races! Needless to say: you'll never need racing slicks, and in my opinion you won't really need to spend money on sports, either.
 
Getting suspension upgrades is possible, but since the car's never gonna win more than a couple races, anything past the easily-bought sports package is a waste. I can also say we'll never need to spend a cent on brake upgrades.

Any other questions, or shall we move on?



GT4
Again, the Clio Sport 2.0 16v of this game has far more options, and many more places to go. Busy busy busy this car is. We can tackle the FF Challenge, France Tous Championnat, Clubman Cup, NA Tune, Clio Cup and other such fine races.

This baby Clio Sport boasts behavior both helpful and troublesome now that we've got more power to play with. It zips into corners .... jack-knifing under hard brake-steering, which is extremely daring and fun. The Clio Sport is not much different from a Peugeot 106, actually, in these regards. If you're missing some of the excitement offered by other front-drives while accelerating, you'll find it all once you're messing with the Clio's brakes! Sometimes, the only word I could find to aptly describe this car's stopping capability would be "violent"! At times, the brakes are so effective in this car, I've found myself pushing them just halfway, otherwise I'd find my Clio stopping too much and too fast. Then what happens? The car gives away too much advantage, since it is now heading into that corner too slow, those brakes having done their job too well. As implied, steering (especially when braking or coasting) is also very grippy and pushy. In many turns, I've found myself giving just partial steering in a Clio Sport 16v, yet able to acheive the degree of steering input I'd need.

A limited-slip is needed late in the game for this machine (rather than during the FF Challenge or something), though the right LSD does help eliminate those half-seconds of slippage a lower-powered car exhibits out-of-corners. I found I didn't really need a limited-slip device till Stage 2 power was being used.

You'd think that with qualities like these, front-drive issues are finally exempt, right?

The downside to this chapter starts with  the front-end of this car, which feels a bit "skateboard-ish" at times. Has a bad habit of bouncing over minor abberations, and (of course) eventually understeering as traction gets lost in small amounts. Nothing out of ordinary though, and nothing unexpected. Unlike the Pug 106, the Clio Sport 2.0 hasn't got as much front-wheel drive freedom, or as much tolerance before understeer shows up, but it does gather itself back if the throttle is tamed.


So it's an odd evolution, overall. From GT2, where it seems PD really dropped the ball (and oughta be sued) for making Renault look bad, to GT4, where they made up for a huge mistake few gamers ever noticed in the first place.  

PROS
 
1). GT2: Are there any?

PROS

1). GT4: Yes...but they're all in this game!

2). Bubbly, roundish bodywork; handsome, and not too plain or funky. The front-drive Clio 16v of GT4 is actually a "Clio Sport", and falls somewhere in between the muscle/macho Clio Sport V6, and the wimpy nerd found in GT2.

3). Front-end braking prowess rates a 10 out of 10.

4). Light weight.

5). Power upgrades available in GT4 (phew).

6). Low-speed manuverability of a Civic. Good traction, too.

7). A fair price. 

8). Quite the fuel-sipper
.
 
 
CONS
 
1). Engine can't be seriously upgraded in GT2. AT ALL.
 
2). GT2: Too weak to compete in most races, too overpowered to compete in others. Your initial investment = $22,000 down the drain!

3). GT4: we can buy a Clio 16v in just 4 colors.

4). Now that we've got the necessary power-upgrades, we've also got the understeer (and other issues) that comes with them.

5). Stock 5-speed tranny eventually falls short at some tracks. You might need a racing transmission. Oh, that was for the GT4 car, of course.

6). Lowish acceleration, but only because it's a front-drive. Among other FF cars, the Clio Sport of GT4 is just below average.

7). Front-end gets skittery sometimes accelerating out of corners, understeer or no understeer.

8). As great as the brakes & steering are in this car, some newbs may find this front-drive difficult to brake & steer since partial input is needed in this car.

9). Turbo lag starts to show up with the GT4 car, also; with just a Stage 2 system. You'll feel it mostly below 3,000 rpms.
 

 
Published: June 5th, 2004
Re-Edited: October 14, 2008

 

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