With Clio R.S. R3, Renault Sport established itself as one of the leading brands in the two-wheel drive categories.
Over the last years, this solid experience has been used to design a new generation model. Recent changes in the FIA regulations have led to the development of innovative solutions to boost the competitiveness and safety of the car marketed by Renault Sport Racing in the R3 category.
Clio R.S. 200 EDC lies at the heart of this new model devoted to road-racing events. Developed by Renault Sport Technologies with many features inspired by the world of motor racing, the market leader in compact sports cars is able to re-use these innovations to meet the demands of rallying.
Renault Sport Racing’ teams were able to make use of solutions taken from the production model to develop Clio R3T. Reliability, performance and cost were all central to the design and development process.
Although the profile of Clio R.S. 200 EDC remains unchanged for regulatory reasons, this rally version has been specifically devised for racing. Sitting firmly on its 17-inch (tarmac) or 15-inch (gravel) wheels, Clio R3T shows off its assets with exclusive front and rear suspension systems.
Featuring new adjustable dampers and a wide range of settings, every driver is able to find the balance needed to be competitive on all surfaces.
Under the bonnet, Clio R.S. 200 EDC’s 1.6-litre turbo-charged engine has been given special treatment in order to deliver unrivalled performances. Renault Sport Racing’ engineers have worked on the engine block, meaning it now develops a hefty 242hp and delivers an outstanding 480Nm of torque. Services are now scheduled every 4,000 kilometers of stages, which is a category record for running time.
The six-speed sequential gearbox can be controlled by steering wheel- mounted paddles.
Clio R3T has been homologated during July 2014.The kit is made up of Clio R.S. 200 EDC parts and specific components required for the assembly of Clio R3T, including the engine which is assembled by one of Renault Sport Racing’ partners.
Clio R3T is the second racing model to be developed on the base of Clio R.S. 200 EDC after Clio Cup, intended for circuit racing.
A Clio R.S. 200 EDC exterior
FIA R3 regulations require that the bodywork of the original car be strictly maintained. Clio R3T therefore enjoys the high-performance solutions of Clio R.S. 200 EDC.
The styling details find their rightful place in racing conditions through Clio R3T.
Meanwhile, the rear diffuser and spoiler increase the downforce generated on the rear suspension.
Like the original model, Clio R3T is only available as a five-door version. Although this change has no impact on the stages, it does however facilitate the work of the technical teams during service periods. Access to the rear of the cabin makes it particularly easier to refuel.
The roof-mounted air-intake, required to provide ventilation to the cockpit during the stages, and the fact the glass in the side windows has been replaced by Plexiglas, provide the only clues that the design of Clio R3T has a more competitive leaning.
Designed to run on both gravel and tarmac stages, Clio R3T is based on effective, tried and tested solutions. The chassis has been designed to enable each driver to define their own set- up, in accordance with their driving style and the racing conditions.
At the front, still focusing on performance, reliability and efficiency, the sub-frame and uprights have been replaced by a model taken from Renault’s range of components. The wishbones and brake reaction rods have been specifically designed to strengthen the unit. They therefore meet the requirements of gravel and tarmac rallies.
These modifications deliver greater suspension travel, whilst kinematics is improved. Camber, toe, wheelbase and castor settings are all equally adjustable.
At the rear, the production cross-member is supported by welded casings to reinforce the structure of the axle. For drivers that prefer a more mobile rear suspension, a ball-joint hinge can replace the flexible bearings.
Three diameters of anti-roll bar are available at the front and at the rear.
Sachs has developed specific dampers for Clio R3T. They can be adjusted in three directions (low and high-speed compression and rebound). A wide range of springs is available to fine-tune the general chassis settings according to the feelings of the drivers, the road conditions and the specific features of each event.
The assistance of the electric power steering has been modified to cope with the additional stress of the special stages. Slightly more direct, it is ideally suited to rallying thanks to its ability to relay information to the driver through the steering wheel. The system is supported by new steering tie-rods, taken from the production model.
All of these developments mean it is possible to alter the attitude of Clio R3T quite dramatically. A wide range of settings is offered to the teams in order to give drivers the best possible feeling on both very fast tarmac rallies and extremely rough gravel events. Access to Renault Sport’s database via an Extranet enables team engineers to be guided through the set-up to be adopted depending on the conditions.
For Renault Sport Racing, the engine is one of the centerpieces of every new car.
When they devised Clio R3T, the engineers made the most of Clio R.S. 200 EDC and the options available under the FIA regulations.
The M5MT engine, already improved with the addition of DLC (Diamond-Like Carbon) tappets from the world of F1 and variable valve timing (VVT), has been optimized for racing.
Pistons, connecting rods and bearings have all been specially treated to withstand the stresses of the stages. The engine mountings, the air inlets, the turbocharger taken from Mégane R.S. N4 and the exhaust systems are also specific to Clio R3T.
Using racing fuel, Clio R3T’s petrol engine develops 242 hp @ 4,000rpm with a torque that can reach 480 N.m (3,200rpm).
For each component, the original part has been tested and compared with alternatives specific to rallying. Performance, endurance, reliability and cost were the factors taken into consideration in the various choices.
All these elements are combined with the same goal in mind : improve efficiency. This is true not only on the stages but also in the service park. The bumpers and air intake can be removed in a matter of seconds. It takes around twenty minutes to replace the gearbox, which is the average length of a service period. The self-locking differential casing can be opened in seven minutes, without changing the oil.
These advantages, which in themselves are major assets, are backed up by record levels of reliability. For the first time in the category, the recommended service interval is set at every 4,000 kilometers. And the price of the servicing kit equally turns out to be the least expensive on the market.
The ECU has been provided by Cosworth based on development work done for Clio Cup. On the dashboard, a color screen can be used to view several pages featuring a multitude of information. The electrical wiring harness has been completely redesigned with the help of XAP, Renault Sport Technologies’ partner on this project.
A transmission devised with racing in mind
Any high-performance engine increases its efficiency when coupled with a perfectly suited transmission. In this area, Renault Sport Racing has called upon one of its acknowledged service providers.
The six-speed sequential gearbox is supplied by Sadev. This is also the result of development of a brand new generation of transmission, with an engine interface developed by Renault Sport Technologies.
Supplied by ZF Sachs, the dual clutch transmission has been designed to withstand 2,000 kilometers of stages. That is three times as long as the previous generation.
The gearshift lever has been placed right next to the steering wheel. The driver can therefore change gears without taking his or her hands off the steering wheel.
A highly accessible mechanical locking system has been adapted to avoid switching from first gear to neutral or reverse without a specific action from the driver. Once again, reliability was a key consideration from the outset, during the design stage.
A cabin devoted to performance and safety
The cabin of Clio R3T has been totally redesigned. Two bucket seats, in option and available in a variety of sizes, have replaced the standard seats of the production model.
The driver seat has been moved significantly towards the cent of the cabin and positioned in order to reduce the blind spots as much as possible. The roll cage has been designed to improve the view of the road between the front left-hand side window and the windscreen.
Moving the bucket seat to the center of the cabin has equally helped to improve the car’s weight distribution. The new position also gives the driver more room, freeing up his or her movements and feelings.
In accordance with this new layout, ergonomic pedals were developed to meet the requirements of the drivers, whether they adopt right- or left-foot braking.
Another major upgrade on Clio R3T is the steering wheel now controls various functions. Warning lights, indicators and headlamps can all be controlled using multi-colored buttons placed on the spokes of the steering wheel.
Engine mapping modification and traction control systems can also be managed via the steering wheel.
With the changed regulations, the gearshift lever is now anchored to the floor of the car. Development focused on smooth gear changes, equivalent to those achieved by steering-wheel mounted paddles (system is available as an option).
Changes to the regulations enable increasingly safe vehicles to be offered. Renault Sport Racing has used the revised rules and its own expertise to design a benchmark model in terms of active and passive safety.
Clio R3T has been reinforced by a welded roll cage which complies with the FIA regulations and which has been approved by static load calculations.
The car’s five-door bodywork provides increased protection. The center pillar between the two doors is slightly offset from the axis of the roll cage. This twin protective structure affords significantly greater passive safety in the event of a side impact.
The experience acquired in the last few years has also helped to develop new solutions to minimize the risk of injury. For example, the gearshift lever attachment is now located in the floor and no longer on the steering in order to avoid injuries to limbs in the event of a frontal impact.
Thousands kilometers of testing
The decision to design Clio R3T was taken in June 2013. In the space of a few weeks, Renault Sport Racing’ teams had produced the first sketches of the body incorporating the roll cage. By the autumn, the first car had been assembled.
Each month, another test session provided the opportunity to fine-tune the development process by supporting the technical team in choosing the final definition of the kit.
French, Belgian, Italian, Spanish, British and Australian drivers – 15 drivers from all around the globe – took part in these tests on rough or flowing gravel roads and various types of tarmac. The technical solutions were approved thanks to the involvement of drivers with a wide range of different styles.
Taylor-made support for all customers
Through the experience it has acquired over the last few decades, Renault Sport Racing is able to provide day-to-day support to the teams and drivers using cars from its customer racing line-up.
Set up back for more than ten years, a dedicated support hotline and e-mail address enable customers to be in direct and continuous contact with Renault Sport Racing’ engineers.
Once customers purchase the kit, they obtain a detailed instruction booklet guiding them through the entire assembly process. In the meantime engineers can provide instructions and share their expertise.
Renault Sport Racing’s operations engineers and spare parts store are also available at dozens of national and international rallies every season. They provide extended servicing and regular updates to the teams and drivers of cars from the customer racing line-up.
Maintaining contact with customers around the world means that the information collected is aggregated in a database, which can be accessed in an extranet site restricted to Renault Sport Racing customers.
|Original car :||Clio R.S. 200 EDC|
|Bodyshell :||Steel monohull with welded rollbar|
|Front train :||Pseudo McPherson|
|Rear train :||Rigid H rear axle with disconnectable and switchable antiroll bar|
|Suspensions :||3 way Sachs shock absorber with hydraulic bump stops|
|Front brakes :||One piece PFC 4 pistons calipers, 330 x 32 floating discs with Snap Ring system, Air duct cooling system|
|Rear brakes :||PFC 2 pistons calipers, 274 x 11 floating discs with Snap Ring system|
|Hand brake :||Hydraulic|
|Type :||M5MT 4 Cylinders 16 valves 1 618 cc|
|Turbo charger :||MHI|
|Cooling :||Specific Intercooler|
|Engine supply :||Direct injection|
|Max power 102* :||242 CV from 4 000 to 5 000 revs|
|Max torque 102* :||480 N.m. at 3 200 revs|
|Max power 98** :||225 CV from 4 000 to 5 000 revs|
|Max torque 98** :||420 N.m. at 3 200 revs|
|Max Rev :||6 500 revs|
|Electronic :||Cosworth Electronic Management System|
|Gearbox :||Sadev ST 82-17, 6 speed + R sequential, manual gear shift with Rear Gear Electric locker, ZF type differential with quick release system - optional steering-wheel mounted paddles|
|Clutch :||2 disc Sachs system|
|Fuel :||FT3 ATL 66 ltrs, FIA filler coupling|
|Length :||4 090 mm|
|Width :||1 945 mm|
|Height :||1 432 mm|
|Front track :||1 550 mm|
|Rear track :||2 585 mm|
|Wheelbase :||2 589 mm|
|FIA weight :||1 080 kg|
|Wheels :||Gravel 6 x 15 Et+ 42. Asphalt 7 x 17 Et+ 47|
|Tyres :||Michelin PSR 19/63 - 17|
* RST homologated race fuel
** Unleaded 98 fuel