Images of Renault’s all-new fourth-generation Clio have leaked onto the internet a day before its official release following a gaff by Renault Ireland, which posted these photos on its own website.
While the official photos have since been removed, it's clear that former Mazda design chief and now Renault design kingpin, Laurens van den Acker, has earned his keep, styling a sleek and sporty European hatch.
Some might argue the car even has a touch of Mazda about it...
The highly anticipated compact French hatchback will be formally revealed around midnight tonight, before its first public appearance at the Paris Motor Show in September.
Motoring.com.au can confirm Renault Australia will import a full range of Clio models here for the first time in mid 2013, with the high performance Clio RS arriving six months later around the end of next year.
In recent years Renault has offered the Clio only in range-topping RS (RenaultSport) form, but Renault Australia Corporate Communications Manager Emily Ambrosy said a full range of petrol and diesel models will arrive here in mid-2013, sporting a range of new technologies including a dual-clutch automatic gearbox.
The EDC (Efficient Dual Clutch) transmission will be offered across the range and though Ms Ambrosy said it was too early to talk about pricing, she confirmed the new Clio five-door will rival cars beyond the Peugeot 208 and Volkswagen Polo, suggesting there could be a price-leading model on the cards to take on Japanese and Korean light-car competitors.
The all-new Clio 4 will debut the French company's new in-car infotainment system called R-Link, which uses a large colour 'tablet' that drivers and passengers can use to play music and even download Apps from a dedicated store. While the tablet itself is not removable, it is being termed as such because it has similar functionality to an iPad.
Asked if R-Link would be offered on Australian Renault Clio, Ms Ambrosy said there were a few hurdles to jump. "We have to ascertain whether it passes Australian regulations before we confirm it."
The new Clio RS will hit the streets here late in 2013, roughly six months after the garden-variety model arrives, and will not be offered with a manual transmission.
Renault’s hottest Clio will be sold exclusively with the EDC twin-clutch auto, which will be paired to a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated engine that’s expected to increase in power output from 147 to 155kW.
Thanks to: Car Point