So proud to be loud

Re­nault’s high-flyer is de­signed strictly for those who crave an in­stant im­pres­sion

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Road Test - MARK HINCHLIFFE mark.hinchliffe@cars­guide.com.au

IF THE mu­sic is too loud, you’re too old. The same goes if the springs are too stiff. I can al­ways turn down the vol­ume on the au­dio but I’mway too old for the highly sprung Re­nault Clio Sport 200 Gor­dini Edi­tion. This is a car aimed more at the cashed-up youth mar­ket.

VALUE

At $39,140, it’s not cheap for a man­ual three-door hatch but it’s more pow­er­ful and cheaper than the Mini Cooper S and Honda Civic Type-R and a bit more ex­pen­sive and less pow­er­ful than a Golf GTI.

There are cruise and speed lim­iter con­trol, multi-func­tion trip com­puter, cli­mate con­trol air­con­di­tion­ing, stream­ing au­dio Blue­tooth, aux­il­iary and USB in­puts, leather trim, cor­ner­ing lights and auto lights and wipers.

TECH­NOL­OGY

It bears the name of Re­nault’s fa­mous en­gine tuner yet this is an ex­er­cise in styling rather than tun­ing. It has the same en­gine out­put as the other Clio RS mod­els.

DE­SIGN

It’s like step­ping out in a nice suit while wear­ing brightly coloured train­ers. It just doesn’t work. The Gor­dini badge shows up all over the place, there are GT stripes run­ning from front to back, drilled alu­minium ped­als, F1-style spoiler, the steer­ing wheel has a cen­tring stripe like a rally car and ‘‘ Re­nault Sport’’ let­ter­ing adorns the front and back win­dows like a race car.

You can’t blame Re­nault for plun­der­ing its her­itage, given its cur­rent F1 po­si­tion and its long his­tory of ral­ly­ing suc­cess.

SAFETY

It has six airbags, ABS and sta­bil­ity con­trol. The lat­ter is

‘‘ sports tuned’’ for late in­ter­ven­tion.

DRIV­ING

I left my spleen some­where on

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