OLD RI­VALS, NEW BAT­TLE LINES

Autocar - - NEWS - RICHARD LANE

The bat­tle between the pre­vi­ous-gen­er­a­tion Ford Fi­esta, re­placed last year, and the outgoing Re­nault Clio was al­ways closely fought. Not least be­cause of the Clio’s abil­ity to tran­si­tion from comfy cruiser to en­joy­ably adept back-road steer.

Ford has re­cently up­dated the Fi­esta and im­proved the recipe in sev­eral ar­eas. How should Re­nault re­spond? When launched, the cur­rent Clio was unusu­ally re­fined for its class and Re­nault would do well to pri­ori­tise the de­vel­op­ment of that par­tic­u­lar char­ac­ter­is­tic.

But sur­pass­ing the Fi­esta as an all-round pack­age would al­most cer­tainly in­volve firm­ing up the sus­pen­sion.

Do they jeop­ar­dise the new Clio’s com­fort to re­alise Fi­esta-like dy­nam­ics, or are they brave enough to con­tinue to plough their own very com­fort­able and re­fined fur­row?

That’s the co­nun­drum fac­ing Re­nault’s en­gi­neers.

SPY SHOTS RE­NAULT CLIO

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