In Depth: Renault Clio Sport Tourer  

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Touted as one of the most compact estate cars on the market, the Renault Clio Sport Tourer is an estate with its emphasis on driving pleasure and wide-ranging lifestyle versatility. It is designed to have a sleek and leisurely style, with a well-finished cabin and the practicality of generous load space half again that of the Clio hatch.

Press Release

Clio Sport Tourer packs versatility and appeal, with features that set it apart from the hatchback model. This new estate car meets the expectations of motorists looking for a car that combines dynamic design with generous loading space.

At 4,202mm long, Clio Sport Tourer is one of the most compact estate cars on the market. It’s true to the Clio III style, with its emphasis on vitality and driving pleasure. Yet its leisure-vehicle aspirations are overtly displayed through features such as the inclined tailgate, aerodynamic roof trim and profiled roof rails.

Clio Sport Tourer adapts effortlessly to different situations and usages - outdoor leisure pursuits, sports events, family outings, etc. – thanks to its generous loading space of 439 dm3 (50% more than Clio III hatchback), asymmetrical split-fold rear seat and removable boot flap which frees up a perfectly flat loading surface. And like all models in the Clio III family, Clio Sport Tourer has a welcoming, well-finished interior, and ride comfort evocative of a much larger car.

The suspension, which is derived from that of the Clio III hatchback, combines comfort and efficacy. Clio Sport Tourer is built on the Renault-Nissan Alliance’s B platform, and comes with a choice of three petrol engines (75/80hp 1.2 16V, 100hp TCE and 110hp 1.6 16V) and three diesel engines (70hp, 85hp and 105hp 1.5 dCi, available with particulate filter). The trade-off between driving pleasure, comfort, performance and fuel economy is quite extraordinary. In June 2005, Clio III hatchback earned the top five-star rating in tests performed by the independent testing organization EuroNCAP. Clio Sport Tourer was developed using the same basic structure and enjoys the full benefit of Renault’s extensive know-how in the realm of vehicle safety.

This high-appeal model is a fruit of the Renault Commitment 2009 plan and joins three other models currently made at the Bursa plant in Turkey: Mégane II Sedan, Clio Symbol/Thalia (Clio II Sedan) and Clio III hatchback. Clio Sport Tourer will be released on December 21, 2007, in Italy, then between January and February, 2008, in the rest of Western Europe.

Clio appeal

Clio Sport Tourer is a compact estate car that meets customers’ expectations for a manoeuvrable car combining personality and loading volume. Its appealing profile, as sleek as any hatchback, hints at true driving pleasure, while the inclined rear screen and flowing lines suggest the car’s leisure-vehicle vocation. As on all Clio III models, the passenger compartment is welcoming, comfortable and well-finished.

Flowing, dynamic lines

Clio Sport Tourer is one of the most compact estate cars on the market; just 4,202mm long. It has the same wheelbase as the hatchback (2,575mm), with a rear overhang that is 216mm longer. Vitality and driving pleasure are expressed through coherent styling features such as the inclined tailgate, extended glazed surface and third side window. Yet the neat rear window design, tailgate, aerodynamic roof trim and profiled roof rails (in black or chrome finish, depending on version) declare the car’s allegiance to the leisure vehicle clan. Tinted windows are available as an option. The front end expresses the agility, power and status common to the entire Clio III range, an aspect that can be further enhanced by choosing the optional 15-inch or 16-inch alloy wheels.

Welcoming interior

As is the case with the hatchback, driver and passengers enjoy a smart, comfortable interior
inspired by the Touch Design concept, with a sensation of warmth and refinement rarely found in this category of vehicle. The dashboard and central console are shaped in smooth, attractive curves. The “squash-ball” air vent controls are soft to the touch and very easy to use. Under the dashboard cowl the instruments are clear and legible. The separate sound system display is neatly designed as an integral part of the dashboard. The impression of space and comfort is further enhanced by an electric panoramic sunroof, bringing all the pleasures of open-air motoring. The generously sized sunroof (1.29m long by 0.86m wide) is made up of two flush panels, an opening panel at the front and a fixed one at the rear. The opening panel is operated by a one-touch rotary control, and there’s an automatic anti-pinch function.

Large, practical boot

Clio Sport Tourer packs versatility and appeal, with features that set it apart from the hatchback model. Clio Sport Tourer adapts effortlessly to different situations and usages - outdoor leisure pursuits, sports events, family outings, etc. - with its generous loading space, asymmetrical split-fold rear seat, and removable boot flap which frees up a perfectly flat loading surface.

Big-car loading capacity

With its long rear overhang of 822mm (216mm longer than on the hatchback), Clio Sport Tourer has one of the largest boots in its category: 439dm3 (under shelf, without removable flap) which is more than 50% bigger (151dm3) than Clio III hatchback. The asymmetrical split-fold rear seats free up additional loading space up to 1,277dm3 (up to ceiling; 239dm3 more than the hatchback). With the smallest rear seat section folded down, Clio Sport Tourer can carry four people plus leisure equipment up to 1,450mm long.

Practical removable floor flap

Boot access is exemplary, owing to the shape of the rear bumper and the very low sill height (581mm), with no protuberances. With its removable floor flap, the boot adapts readily to different uses. When fully folded out it forms a flat surface ideal for loading heavy or bulky items.

The rear seats can be folded down without having to remove the headrests; you just fold the seat bottom then the seat back. Clio Sport Tourer also solves the annoying problem of what to do with the rear shelf when you remove it: on Clio Sport Tourer, there’s a special compartment for it under the removable boot flap, so you don’t have to take it out and store it in the garage. With the shelf in place, this compartment can be used for items such as maps or umbrellas. By removing the removable flat floor flap, the boot capacity can be increased by a further 72dm3. With a loading width of one metre between the rear lamp units, the boot easily accommodates all types of luggage and equipment.

For safe use of full loading capacity up to the ceiling, an optional luggage restraint net can be fitted either behind the rear seat or behind the front seats (with the rear seats folded down). The boot is fully carpeted and can be fitted with a range of accessories:

- Luggage net in boot bottom
- Protective mat
- Wrap-around net, positioned vertically
- Boot box with compartments
- Strap for holding down bulky items (drums, etc.)

New standards in interior space and comfort

In common with all the models in the Clio III range, Clio Sport Tourer boasts the comfort and spaciousness of a larger, more expensive car. With its welcoming, well-finished interior, this smart little estate offers excellent travelling comfort.

A benchmark in interior space

Like Clio III hatchback, Clio Sport Tourer has the highest overall interior space index in the B segment. Shoulder width is 1,380mm for the front seats and 1,343mm for the rear. And the impression of space is further enhanced by the generous headroom. Vertical reach in the rear seats measures 866mm, while knee-room is a generous 162mm, which means Clio Sport Tourer can comfortably seat people up to 1.88m tall (a category that covers 95% of the European population).

Priority to driver and passenger comfort

The Clio III range gives priority attention to driver and passenger comfort. Cockpit ergonomics are among the best in this vehicle category, with features such as a height-adjustable steering wheel (plus reach adjustment on certain versions). Models with the automated manual transmission (available with the 85hp 1.5 dCi engine) also feature ergonomic shift paddles behind the steering wheel. The seats achieve an excellent trade-off between comfort and support. The seat adjustment controls are located for convenient, intuitive access. And the adjustable seat height means that drivers of all shapes and sizes are sure to find an optimally comfortable driving position. Rear-seat passengers also enjoy a superbly comfortable ride, with specially shaped seats and optimized foam density ensuring very good lateral support. The rear bench is available in one-piece and
asymmetrical split-fold versions.

Effective soundproofing

Vehicle acoustics on Clio Sport Tourer (in common with the Clio III range as a whole) are way ahead of the norm for this vehicle category. Body structure soundproofing effectively filters out engine, transmission and road noise. Engine rumble and low-rev boom are reduced by the use of spring-mounted tailgate stops. By reducing engine revs under classic driving conditions (on a motorway, for example), the six-speed gearbox (available with the 105hp 1.5 dCi engine) also makes a significant contribution to acoustic comfort.

Considerable attention was paid to acoustic insulation between the engine and cabin and to minimizing wind noise, including inflatable inserts in body cavities.

Driving pleasure and fuel economy

Clio Sport Tourer's running gear is derived from that used on Clio III hatchback which was widely acclaimed for its comfort and efficacy. All models in the Clio III range are built on the Renault-Nissan Alliance’s B platform, renowned for its reassuring handling and roadholding. Clio Sport Tourer offers an ideal trade-off between driving pleasure, performance and fuel economy, and is available with a choice of three petrol engines (75/80hp 1.2 16V, 100hp TCE and 110hp 1.6 16V) and three diesel engines (70hp, 85hp and 105hp 1.5 dCi). Comfort and acoustics on Clio Sport Tourer are remarkable for a car in this category. Renault’s new estate car is ecological as well as economical, especially in the versions powered by the 100hp TCE petrol engine or the 1.5 dCi diesels.

Inherent tourer qualities

Like Clio III hatchback, Clio Sport Tourer achieves an exemplary combination of precise handling, ride comfort and safety. In designing Clio Sport Tourer, Renault engineers went to great lengths to meet the most demanding motorists’ expectations for safe, consistent, pleasurable driving response, even with the vehicle heavily loaded or at high speed. The suspension damping on Clio III hatchback was specially adjusted for Clio Sport Tourer which combines high-precision steering with excellent filtration of vibrations and noise. The MacPherson-type front suspension features a rectangular lower arm and effectively decouples longitudinal and transverse forces to achieve superb roadholding and comfort.

The rear suspension is based on a programmed-deflection torsion-beam plus coil springs. For enhanced control of body-roll, Clio Sport Tourer's anti-roll bar is thicker (21mm) than that of Clio III hatchback, while the dampers and wheel travel have been adjusted to the heavier vehicle weight. Clio Sport Tourer has variable-assistance electric power steering as standard, with all the control units and software found on the hatchback specially calibrated for crisp, smooth steering. The between-kerbs turning circle is the same as with Clio III hatchback (10.3m to 11.3m, depending on engine and wheel size). Clio Sport Tourer is available with two wheel sizes: 15-inch wheels in two widths (165mm and 185mm) and 16-inch wheels (195mm).

Modern, efficient powertrains

Clio Sport Tourer’s dynamic performance is exploited by a wide range of engines and gearboxes. Depending on the country, there is a choice of three Euro 4-compliant 16valve petrol engines – the 75/85hp (55/57.5kW) 1.2 16V, the 100hp (74kW) TCE and the 110hp (82kW) 1.6 16V - which all feature on-board diagnostics to monitor pollution control efficacy over time. There are also three Euro 4 diesel 1.5 dCi engines which deliver 70hp (50kW), 85hp (63kW) and 105hp (78kW) respectively.

Petrol engines

75/80hp (55/57.5kW) 1.2 16V

The 1,149cc 1.2 16V (D4F) engine delivers peak power of 75hp (55kW) at 5,500rpm (or 80hp/57kW with robotized transmission) and peak torque of 105Nm (11mkg) at 4,250rpm (or 108Nm/11mkg with robotized transmission).

100hp (74kW) TCE

Clio Sport Tourer is available with the 100hp 1.2 16V turbocharged engine, baptized TCE for Turbo Control Efficiency. This powerplant combines the fuel consumption of a 1.2 litre engine with the power of a 1.4 and the torque of a 1.6. It features a low-inertia turbocharger with very fast response time, achieved with a small-diameter turbine and compressor. Peak power of 100hp (74kW) is at 5,500rpm and peak torque of 145Nm at 3,000rpm. Another advantage of using a small engine with low-inertia turbocharger is the lively response from low engine speeds.

110hp (82kW) 1.6 16V

The 1.6 16V (K4M) engine yields 110hp (82kW) at 6,000rpm and peak torque of 151Nm (15.8mkg) at 4,250rpm. This 1,598cc unit has variable inlet valve timing. It can be coupled with a Proactive four-speed automatic transmission (DP0).

Diesel engines

70hp (50kW), 85hp (63kW) or 105hp (78kW) 1.5 dCi

There are three variants of the 1.5 dCi (K9K) which deliver 70hp (50kW) at 4,000rpm, 85hp (63kW) at 3,750rpm or 105hp (78kW) at 4,000rpm. All offer very good response from low engine speeds, with the 70hp version developing peak torque of 160Nm (16.3mkg), the 85hp version 200Nm (20.4mkg) and the 105hp version 240Nm (24.5mkg).

These 1,461cc units are widely appreciated for their efficiency and acoustics, and are fitted with a second-generation injection system. The 85hp and 105hp versions are available with a particulate filter and exhaust-line injector, which performs filter regeneration in any traffic conditions, even with the car stationary and the engine idling. The 85hp 1.5 dCi (with particulate filter) and 105hp 1.5 dCi (with or without particulate filter) are coupled with a six-speed manual gearbox. The 85hp 1.5 dCi engine is also available with five-speed robotized transmission.

Low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions

Clio Sport Tourer returns low fuel consumption with all its engines (identical to figures for Clio III hatchback). Except for the 110hp 1.6 16V powerplant, all Clio Sport Tourer engines meet the three criteria required for Renault eco² appellation:

- CO2 emissions less than 140g/km, or biofuel compatibility
- Manufactured in a ISO 14001-ceruified factory (Bursa)
- 95% end-of-life reusable; 5% of vehicle plastics sourced from recycling. Low running costs and 12-year anti-corrosion warranty

Clio Sport Tourer is designed for low-cost motoring. The service interval is a very long 30,000km for the petrol versions (except 20,000km for the 100hp TCE, with the new Oil Control System) and 20,000km for the diesel versions. The spark plugs need changing every 120,000km, the air filter every 60,000km and the diesel filter every 40,000km. All engines offer very good fuel economy, enhanced by electric power steering, which reduces fuel consumption by between 0.2 and 0.3 litres per 100km (depending on cycle).

To bring down repair costs, and thereby insurance costs, Clio Sport Tourer includes many features specially designed to minimize the consequences of minor impacts, especially with a view to achieving a good rating in the RCAR1 tests, applied as a premium determination factor by insurance companies. The profiled aluminium front crossmember and polypropylene rear beam, for example, absorb virtually all impact energy under low-speed collision conditions.

1 Tests (front and rear impacts at 15kph) used by insurance companies to measure vehicle reparability.

Safety in its genes

Clio III hatchback obtained the top five-star rating in the crash tests performed by the independent testing organization EuroNCAP in June 2005. Clio Sport Tourer was developed on the same platform and enjoys the full benefit of Renault’s knowhow in the realm of vehicle safety. Excellent active safety is achieved by the advanced suspension. And the car comes with Renault’s third-generation System for Restraint and Protection (SRP3) along with a wealth of equipment for enhanced comfort and safety, such as a tyre pressure monitoring system and cruise control with speed limiter.

Active safety

Like Clio III hatchback, Clio Sport Tourer is easy to drive, with precise, neutral response. The chassis and suspension have been designed for consistent response with very low sensitivity to the type of road surface, crosswind conditions, braking and acceleration. The 21mm diameter anti-roll bars perform effective roll control. Braking is powerful and precise whether fitted with four disc brakes (1.6 16V and 105hp 1.5 dCi models) or front discs and rear drums (other versions). Brake discs are generously sized (diameter 260mm at front, 240mm rear; thickness 22mm at front, 8mm rear). Clio Sport Tourer has all the latest driver aids featured on Clio III hatchback. Standard equipment includes latest-generation Bosch 8.0 ABS with electronic brake distribution and emergency brake assist. Then there’s ESP with understeer control. For pullaway, traction control can be switched in from the ESP disable control, after which ESP will switch back on automatically when the vehicle speed reaches 50kph, or the next time the engine is started. A drag torque control function prevents locking of the drive wheels if the throttle pedal lifts too suddenly or if the car decelerates sharply on a slippery road surface.

Passive safety: uncompromising protection for all passengers

Clio III hatchback earned a top five-star rating in the crash tests performed by the independent testing organization EuroNCAP in June 2005. Clio Sport Tourer is built on the same platform and fitted with Renault’s third-generation System for Restraint and Protection (SRP3), for optimum protection of vehicle occupants wherever they are sitting. The car's structure is made of steels and other materials that absorb and spread impact energy as efficiently as possible. Outer body parts at the front, side and rear are designed to crumple progressively under collision, minimizing the consequences of the impact on occupants.

The cabin, on the contrary, is designed to be as rigid as possible in order to serve as a survival cell, resisting intrusion of any parts from the engine compartment. The front seatbelts on Clio Sport Tourer are fitted with pyrotechnic pretensioners for optimum body support under collision conditions. Internal load limiters calibrated at 400daN minimize the risk of thorax injury. A second pretensioner controls the tension on the lap belt to hold the occupant firmly against the seat for effective pelvis protection and prevention of the phenomenon known as submarining.

Depending on version, Clio Sport Tourer comes with up to six airbags: two high-efficiency adaptive front airbags with controlled venting, and four side airbags. Protection under frontal impact is further enhanced by other features such as the crumple magnesium steering wheel frame and the passive-retraction steering column, which reduces the distance between driver and steering wheel. The outermost rear seats have internal load limiters and pyrotechnic reels (standard or optional, depending on version) and all three rear seats have anti-submarining humps in the cushion. The rigid seatbelt buckles are vertically positioned.

Additional equipment

Other standard or optional features (depending on version) on Clio III include:

- Tyre pressure monitoring system
- Rear parking proximity sensor
- Combined light and rain sensor controlling automatic headlamp light-up and wiper switch-on and speed
- Cruise control and speed limiter

A new Turkish-built addition to the Clio family

With sales topping 9 million units (all versions) since its release in 1990, Clio is a resounding worldwide success. Within the framework of its Commitment 2009 plan, Renault is extending its large family of small cars with a new estate version, Clio Sport Tourer, following an €80 million investment programme. Clio Sport Tourer is made at the Bursa plant in Turkey and the car will be released initially on December 21 in Italy, then across the rest of Western Europe between January and February 2008.

Clio Sport Tourer, a high-potential car designed at the Renault Technocentre

The European small car market has broadened considerably in recent years, with the appearance of a variety of small vehicles in estate-car and MPV formats. With sales approaching 5.3 million units in 2006, the small car segment accounts for 36.5% of all vehicle sales in Europe. Renault is a key player in this segment, holding a market share of 9.4% over the first nine months of 2007, with sales of 420,000 units. Clio III accounted for over half of these.

Clio Sport Tourer follows on from Clio III in 2005 and New Twingo in June 2007, with the mission of winning over new customers and strengthening Renault’s grip on the small car segment as part of the Renault Commitment 2009 plan. Renault intends to increase its sales in this highly competitive market by addressing a complementary clientele not reached by the hatchback version.

Clio Sport Tourer was engineered by the Technocentre teams who developed Clio III and benefits from the proven reliability of the Renault-Nissan Alliance’s B platform which it shares with Clio III and Modus. Design investment was kept down to around €35 million thanks to the carry-over of some 60% of Clio III hatchback parts, including running gear. There were also synergies with the Grand Modus project, which has the same rear running gear as Clio Sport Tourer.

Bursa, a high-quality Renault group plant

Clio Sport Tourer is made at the Oyak-Renault plant in Bursa, Turkey, which has been operational since 1969. Renault topped the Turkish passenger car market in 2007 with a share of 16.6%. The new compact estate joins three other cars made at Bursa: Clio III, Thalia (three-box Clio) and the three-box Mégane II. Renault chose the Bursa plant for this project because of its strong performance in terms of quality and production costs, with Turkey’s advantageous labour costs and high local content (90% of parts and components are made in Turkey).

The Bursa plant is ISO 9001-certified and announced the export of its millionth vehicle in October 2007. Much of the credit for the plant’s excellent production quality goes to a highly qualified personnel, who received a total of 350,000 hours’ training in 2007, including 13,000 hours for the Clio Sport Tourer project.

To ensure consistently high product quality, the Bursa plant has been implementing the Renault Production Way (in common with all Renault group plants) since 2000. The Renault Production Way seeks to hoist Renault’s industrial organization to world-class status through continuous improvement of workstation performance. It is based on worktask standardization and daily quality management, for consistent, reproducible quality.

Body assembly and powertrain investments

Bursa undertook a major increase in production output in 2006, in response to successful sales performance of the models already made at the plant, now to be joined by Clio Sport Tourer. Over 1,000 jobs were created, bringing the total workforce up to 5,470. Plant investment for the assembly capacity upgrade totalled €47 million, mainly on new machinery for the vehicle systems specific to Clio Sport Tourer, such as the body sides and the reinforced rear running gear. At the same time, €71 million was invested in powertrain production capacity: Bursa will start making 1.5 dCi engines (for Clio Sport Tourer and other Renaults) in 2008.

The Bursa plant implements many measures under the Renault group environmental policy. It has been certified to ISO 14001 since 1999, and pursues a schedule of regular and substantial investment on environmental improvement. For example, water consumption per vehicle was cut by more than 50% from 2002 to 2006.

Four of the 26 new models pledged in the Renault Commitment 2009 plan have already been released (Logan MCV, Logan Van, New Twingo, New Laguna). Clio Sport Tourer will be joining them when it is released in Italy on December 21, 2007. Its release across the rest of Western Europe will be staggered over January and February 2008.

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