Quick-fire interview: Benoît Nogier

Renault Sport Racing Customer Racing Director opens up on New Clio Rally ahead of its competitive debut in 2020.

New Clio Rally was at the Rallye Cœur de France, how was it received?
“The car was extremely well received, as was the case of the Cup version at Magny-Cours and the RX version at Dreux. The first reactions have been very positive and even go beyond the French borders as there has been great interest shown from countries such as Spain, Mexico and Belgium amongst others.”

Where are you in the development process?
“The development phase was completed last week with a final Rallycross test. Everything went extremely well as we reached 10,000 kilometres of testing with the three categories in which the car is designed with a positive conclusion, fantastic feedback from our test drivers and an excellent level of reliability, exceeding our expectations. It is one of the most important target for Renault Sport Racing when a new car is introduced for customer racing.”

What are the next phases?
“The very next step will be its first public and dynamic appearence as Florian Bernardi will be behind the wheel of New Clio Rally as the zero car on Rallye du Var. Meanwhile, manufacture is already underway. We have been producing the shells for about a month now. The first cars will be assembled in the first week of November, just when the first orders will be received right from November 1st. We can now announce a fixed sale price of 42,000€ + vat for the tarmac version. Although the cars will be ready before, the first deliveries should take place in early March. This gives us time to do things correctly just in case. Our target is to sell 120 units across the three versions by May 1st, 2020.”

Will New Clio Rally be ready for other surfaces?
“Obviously yes! Even though the Clio Trophy France will be exclusively contested on six rounds of the FFSA French Tarmac Rally Championship, the car was developed for all kinds of surfaces. New Clio Rally is thus ready for the gravel and we should see it on that surface as well as tarmac. We really wanted to offer a versatile car and we have reached it on two levels: by adapting the Clio in Cup, Rally and RX versions, then by making the Clio Rally a car able to demonstrate all its potential on tarmac as well as on the gravel.”