New Clio and Cap­tur spied

NEWS RENAULTCLIO

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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)

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