One year after the first dynamic appearance of Clio Rally5, the range on offer from the customer racing teams in Viry-Châtillon and Dieppe is being expanded with Clio Rally4. Designed without compromise to become the best two-wheel drive car in its class, the new model will make its maiden public run this week on the Monte-Carlo Rally (January 21-24).
Building on the success of the Cup, RX and Rally5 versions unveiled in 2019 and launched last year, the customer racing department continues to develop the racing versions of the fifth generation Renault Clio.
A work of art
Where Clio Rally5 aims to be accessible, Clio Rally4 is purposefully focused on performance in the two-wheel drive world.
As required by the technical regulations for both categories, Clio Rally5 and Clio Rally4 have a number of things in common : the same bodywork based on Clio R.S. Line, the latest standards in safety features such as Sabelt bucket seats and fuel cell, pedals set, steering column and subframe.
Despite these similarities, both cars are quite distinct as the teams from Viry-Châtillon and Dieppe have used all their know-how into harnessing the freedoms offered by the regulations and ensuring the success of Clio Rally4.
Under the bonnet, particular attention has been paid to all the aspects linked to performance. The 16-valve 1330 cc TCe 4-cylinder engine has been extensively reworked with the development of a new turbo, new pistons and new connecting rods. Still coupled with a SADEV gearbox, the engine has also received specific treatment regarding its torque range and sees its power rise to 215 hp while having already anticipated the future introduction of a restrictor in the FIA Rally4 technical regulations.
Other mechanical components have also been the subject of an intense work focused on performance and reliability as Clio Rally4 is fitted with PFC Brakes and BOS Suspension adjustable shock absorbers at the cutting edge of the latest technologies.
Initiated once the first lockdown was lifted in France, an intense testing programme was conducted over several months and more than 5000 kilometres were logged by experienced rally specialists, including Stéphane Sarrazin, Bryan Bouffier, Jean-Sébastien Vigion and Manu Guigou.
Very quickly, Clio Rally4 met all of its targets in terms of performance and reliability. The development drivers unanimously praised the qualities of the chassis-engine package, its uncompromising level of safety and its outstanding efficiency.
As did Clio Rally5 last year, Clio Rally4 is now preparing for its first public appearance on the Monte-Carlo Rally, where it will be entrusted to Florian Bernardi, runner-up in the two-wheel drive category of the French Gravel Rally Championship with Clio Rally5, and his co-driver Victor Bellotto.
As part of the organisation’s safety crew as the zero car, Clio Rally4 will be the last to run on the famous alpine stages, just ten minutes prior to the crews entered in the FIA World Rally Championship season-opener.
Competition in sight
At the same time as the Monte-Carlo Rally, Clio Rally4 continues its Rally4 homologation process with the FIA. This should be completed before April and will thus pave the way for the first deliveries and its competitive debuts in France, Spain and Italy during the spring.
In parallel with private entries, synergies will be established with the various national and regional Clio Trophies, with the best Juniors in 2021 being rewarded with official programmes with the Clio Rally4 in order to promote new talent in the world of rallying and to chase for wins on all surfaces.
Benoît Nogier, Renault Sport Racing Customer Racing Director : "We are delighted to unveil Clio Rally4 at the Rallye Monte-Carlo thanks to our historic links with the Automobile Club de Monaco. Clio Rally4 has been designed without compromise with one simple goal in mind : to be the best two-wheel drive car in its class. We are extremely satisfied with the development work carried out to achieve this goal and all the drivers involved have reported that it is both a high performance and fun car to drive. We are sure that it has all it needs to become the benchmark on regional, national and international rallies, both on tarmac and on gravel. We are looking forward to seeing it in action on the magnificent roads of the Monte-Carlo Rally before it makes its competition debut once it has been homologated."
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Clio Rally4 specifications
- • Base : Clio RS Line
- • Structure : Welded steel monocoque
- • Front axle : Pseudo McPherson
- • Rear axle : H axle
- • Suspension : Bos Suspension three-way adjustable shock absorber and hydraulic stop
- • Type : 1.3 TCe Renault – 4 cylindres – 16 valves
- • Turbocharger : Borg Warner –30mm restrictor
- • Cooling : production derivative
- • Fuel delivery : direct injection
- • Power : 215hp
- • Torque : 350Nm
- • Maximum RPM : 6,500
- • Electronics : Life Racing
- • Fuel : SP98 standard
- • Length – Width – Height (mm) : 4,050 – 1,988 - 1,400
- • Track Front-Rear (mm) : 1,500 - 1,490
- • Wheelbase (mm) : 2,579
- • Unloaded weight : 1,080kg
- • Sadev sequential 5-speed + reverse gearbox
- • Floor mounted selector with reverse electronic release
- • ZF type limited slip differntial
- • Sachs clutch
- • Wheels : 6x15 (Gravel), 7x17 (Tarmac)
- • Tyres : Michelin
- • Front brake (Tarmac) : PFC calliper and disc– 330mm x 28mm
- • Front brake (Gravel) : PFC calliper and disc – 294mm x 28mm
- • Rear brake : PFC – PFC calliper, disc – 260mm x 8mm
- • Hydraulic handbrake
- • FIA homologated FT3 fuel cell