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GALLERY: Renault Clio Rs200

For any motoring enthusiast, no trip to Europe would be complete without a visit to Germany’s legendary Nürburgring, the motoring Mecca that has redefined the way we judge automotive performance. Home to the famous 24-hour race, the Ring remains the Holy Grail for motor sport, yet these days it’s mostly used by car manufacturers from around the globe as the ultimate proving ground...

Ensuring everyone in the CarAdvice Melbourne office – and those north of the border who drop in for extended stays – gets time behind the leather-wrapped wheel of our Renault Clio RS200 Sport Premium, it's been doing the rounds.

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During 1991, a 1. 8 L 16-valve engine producing 137 PS (101 kW) (also first seen in the Renault 19) capable of propelling the car to 209 km/h (130 mph) was introduced to the Clio engine range, known simply as the Clio 16S in France (S for "soupapes", the French word for valves), and Clio 16V in export markets. It was the successor to the Renault 5 GT Turbo, which was discontinued that year as the R5 range was pruned back. As well as having a higher top speed than a regular Clio, the 16S sports wider plastic front wings, an offset bonnet vent, wider rear arches and uprated suspension and brakes, and colour-coded front mirrors and bumpers. The RSi side skirts were omitted, however. Inside, the 16V model has an extended instrument panel that houses dials for engine oil pressure, oil temperature, and oil level (which only indicates on engine start). The seats are also more supportive to match the sporting nature of the model. The non-catalyzed versions, still available in some markets, offer 140 PS (103 kW) and marginally higher performance with top speeds up to 212 km/h (132 mph) and the 0–100 km/h (62 mph) time dropping from 8 to 7. 8 seconds.

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