Renault Laguna Coupe
There may have been a tide of new models from Renault in recent months, but the floodgates havent shut yet. The all-new Clio is getting ready to make waves, and exclusive pictures in the current issue of Auto Express magazine show that not only will there be a conventional hatchback, but a rival to Peugeots successful 206 CC, too. The new range will debut at the Geneva Motor Show in 2004, but thanks to our contacts in France we can bring you the details of the newcomer right now.
The Clio will feature angular styling with a number of similarities to the distinctive Vel Satis executive car launched last year. The concave mesh grille and triangular headlights are the most obvious influences, while the steeply raked windscreen and abrupt rear-end design are also like those of its larger brother. Based on the platform of the new Nissan Micra, the Clio will be slightly longer than the current model, at 3.8 metres, but will still be smaller than Fords Fiesta and Volkswagens Polo.
The three-door model will have distinctly different styling to the five-door. The latter will sport a curved roof and low back lights, while the former will have a blunter tailgate with the lenses stacked either side of the rear screen. The Coupé Cabriolet, which is expected to debut at the same time as the hatchbacks, looks like a scaled-down version of the Mégane CC - due in 2004 and revealed in issue 716 - with trapezoid tail-lights and a distinctive wedge-shaped profile. Later next year the quirky Cliospace MPV, based on last years Ellypse concept, will appear, and bosses havent ruled out estate and saloon Clios, either.
Engine choices will be based on current Renault and Nissan motors, and will start with a 65bhp 1.0-litre four-cylinder unit taken from the Micra. Tweaked versions of the current Clios 1.2, 1.4 and 1.6-litre engines will also appear. Diesel fans will be catered for by 65bhp and 80bhp 1.5-litre dCi common-rail powerplants.
A Renaultsport variant is also on the cards, following the success of the current Clio 172. This will use an all-new 200bhp motor, which is due to make its first appearance later this year in the hot Mégane RS.