New Clio and Captur spied
Latest Renault supermini and small SUV spotted on the road
RENAULT’S small cars face stiffer competition than ever before – and here’s the proof that the French maker is gearing up new versions of its Clio hatch and Captur SUV to fight respective rivals like the new Ford Fiesta and SEAT Arona.
Spied for the first time testing in Spain, the Mk5 Clio will continue to be based on the current car’s CMF-B platform. But it’ll get a series of major upgrades over the outgoing model, including mildhybrid tech that will introduce a 48-volt integrated starter/generator to improve fuel economy on the petrol engines.
The units in question are likely to be the latest 1.3-litre turbo motors, along with an updated version of Renault’s well-proven 0.9-litre three-cylinder.
Given current market trends, and the development costs involved, Renault may choose to leave diesel power out of the next Clio’s line-up, although it’s still a relatively popular fuel choice in the car’s home market of France. That could yet grant it a stay of execution.
The test vehicle carries an extensive disguise, but it still shows it will adopt an evolutionary look that lives up to our exclusive preview (below). There should be bigger changes inside, where a portrait-layout touchscreen will dominate the dash. Renault’s engineers plan a major hike in material quality, too.
A test mule for the second-generation Captur crossover was also caught in Spain and shows how this car is going to follow the market trend by offering just about enough practicality to be a genuine family car. The mule – based on the not-for-uk Clio estate – carries crude wheelarch extensions that stretch over a widened front and rear track.
This growth is likely to include an increase in the overall body width, which should widen the cabin to give passengers a bit more shoulder room, especially in the rear. It’ll also add useful litres to the Captur’s boot capacity.
Renault is one of several brands to identify a need for more practicality in their small SUVS, which have often been criticised for being little more than jacked-up superminis.
One of the next Captur’s chief rivals is likely to be a small Skoda SUV, which is set to be based on the larger nextgeneration Rapid instead of the Czech manufacturer’s Fabia supermini.
The next Clio is expected to appear at the Paris Motor Show in the autumn, with sales starting by the endd of the year. The Captur could be at the Geneva show next March.
● Spies catch Renault nextgeneration small cars on test “Major upgrades include the introduction of a 48V starter/generator”
SCOOPED Mk5 Clio was spotted testing in Spain. Look is previewed in our exclusive image (below)