The design of Clio R.S.16 was determined by two elements imposed by the technical specifications: the widening of the bodywork by 60mm and the switch to 19-inch wheels.
"When we saw the wording of specifications, we knew from the start that this project had good DNA," enthused Eric Diemert, Design Director for Renault Sport Cars. "For a car the size of Clio, widening the wings by 60mm is considerable. The use of 19-inch wheels was equally excellent news. We’re always interested in bigger wheels, as this helps to offset the visual mass effect that is inherent in the raised bonnets of modern cars. The wheels are the only part of the car in contact with the ground, so they are critical in maintaining – or even boosting – the overall dynamic feel of the car. Clio R.S. was designed as a versatile car; its undeniably sporty handling was meant to contrast with its slightly more restrained looks. Clio R.S.16 retains this approach, showing a more spectacular side in its proportions and treatment, but stopping short of adopting a totally extrovert personality. That’s what I like about this balance: demonstrate its qualities in a clear, obvious manner, without artifice."
Expressing new levels of dynamism and sportiness…
Drawn by the wording of the changes to be made to the car, designer Franck Le Gall starting looking for building blocks that would enable Clio R.S.16 to maintain the dynamic feel of Clio R.S., whilst allowing it to express itself.
As the time available meant it was impossible to create a complete mock-up, the modifications were simulated using modelling software. In order to fit the 19-inch wheels, it was decided to widen the bodywork by first trimming the wings and then adding composite fibre extensions. These flares were extended by sculpted side skirts placed as close as possible to the door sills to accentuate the car’s racing spirit.
Few changes were made to the rear of the car. The diffuser, which contributes to the car’s aerodynamic efficiency, has been supplemented by a spoiler taken from Clio Cup. Using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and extensive wind tunnel testing, the spoiler provides an additional 40kg of downforce at 200kph.
The interior design places greater emphasis on a sporty feel, with the installation of bucket seats and six-point safety harnesses. The rear bench seat and the air conditioning have been removed to reduce the weight of the car.
Following this modelling phase, the quick prototyping tools enabled a mock-up of the specific bodywork parts. Once positioned on a Clio R.S., they gave a good idea of the finished look. Only a few minor modifications were necessary to move closer to the final result, which was approved by Laurens van den Acker, Senior Vice President, Renault Corporate Design.
Spotlight on R.S. VISION
One of the most famous Renault Sport cars, Clio R.S.16 also stands out thanks to its additional LED lighting signature, R.S. VISION. With its chequered flag design, R.S. VISION is the most immediate reflection of Renault Sport’s graphic environment. The exclusive multi-reflector LED technology enables the fog light, cornering light, headlight and side light functions to be grouped together.
A revamped front end for improved cooling
The quantity of fresh air delivered to the engine by the front end is one of the key elements that determine performance. The designers must factor this aspect into the design from the very early stages.
In order to ensure the air-to-air exchanger taken from Mégane R.S. 275 Trophy-R works properly, the front bumper’s splitter has been redesigned.
This solution is both elegant and clever, since it involves no major visual change. The newly-adjusted bumper has been supplemented by a specific convergent. Maintaining the kevlar texture, this part emphasizes the high-performance character of Clio R.S.16.
"Industrial design only makes sense when you have to contend with constraints and you are involved in drawing up all the parameters that structure the design. In order for a project to make sense and get off the drawing board, all sorts of feasibilities have to be factored in. We are at the crossroads of these constraints and that’s what makes this job exciting." Éric Diemert – Design Director, Renault Sport Cars
Graphics inspired by the Formula 1 race car
Clio R.S.16 features the famous Liquid Yellow paintwork that is synonymous with Renault Sport and which adorns the Renault Sport Formula One Team cars in 2016. It is combined with Gloss Black on the front grille and diamond logo, as well as on the roof and outer surface of the rear spoiler. The paintwork on the upper surface of the spoiler is Liquid Yellow on the final version, in order to underline the sporty profile of Clio R.S.16.
In keeping with the racing spirit that is omnipresent on Clio R.S.16, the Speedline Turini wheel rims are black. Heavily perforated, they contrast with the red Brembo brake callipers.
Clio R.S.16’s look is completed by Renault Sport markings on the roof and a pixelated version of the Renault diamond logo from the back of the car, a feature it shares with the Formula 1 R.S.16.
Obviously, this combination of yellow and black was chosen to mirror the livery of the Renault Sport Formula One Team’s R.S.16!