Renault has been working hard for years, trying to prove that the FF layout is not a laughing matter. And as testament of their relentless effort, the Megane RS is one of the most impressive FF car not only for the looks, but also for its intimidating performance that allows the Trophy version to lap the Nurburgring in just 8:07.97, leaving cars like the Audi RS4 and the BMW M6 E63 behind. So with the new Clio RS 200 EDC now out in the open, is it any good like the Megane?
To seek for the answer, Autocar magazine took a ride in this new hot hatch and put it to the test. They have also lined up an opponent for the Renault just to make things a bit more interesting; packing 200-horsepower just like the Clio is Toyota’s new FR machine, the new GT86. Hailed as the spiritual successor of the good ol’ Hachiroku, the GT86 has been collecting awards and praises from all over, which will make the battle an interesting one.
The new Clio’s gearbox might not have scored high as the EDC dual-clutch gearbox with paddle-shifters lifted from the Nissan GT-R is not giving out a quick shift, but the handling it delivers gains praises from reviewer Steve Sutcliffe. He is also very satisfied with the car’s grip, and the comfort level that comes with it. And although both of the cars have a similar power output, the Clio is quicker in both the straights and bends, thanks to the lesser weight and more torque.
But surprisingly, although the 1.6-liter turbocharged Clio seems to offer more from a very simple package, Sutcliffe seems to prefer the GT86 as it injects more fun to the driver and ensuring a big smile when being behind the wheels. Putting the price aside, would you go for the Clio with its superior speed, or the GT86 with its bonkers tail-happy attitude?