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  Renault Clio Rally3      

  Article Image gallery (13) Specifications  
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Country of origin:France
Introduced in:2023
Source:Company press release
Last updated:January 17, 2023
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Click here to download printer friendly versionSince the redesign of the FIA Rally Pyramid in 2019, Renault has established itself as the front-wheel drive reference, with the success of Clio Rally5 and Clio Rally4, respectively launched in 2020 and 2021. Today, the racing versions of the fifth-generation Renault Clio continue with Clio Rally3.

The rally range expands with Clio Rally3, the first four-wheel drive Clio produced by the brand. Following the linear progression wanted by the motorsport's governing body, the model is based on an intelligent regulation that allows a manufacturer to derive the same model from the Rally5 to Rally3 categories. Simply said, a Rally3 car is a Rally4 with added rear-wheel transmission to provide four-wheel drive. Alpine Racing's technical teams were therefore able to take advantage of the Cio Rally4's proven structure and components to develop Clio Rally3.

While Clio Rally5 is intended to be accessible to all drivers and Clio Rally4 is intently focused on two-wheel drive performance, Clio Rally3 is the perfect springboard into the world of four-wheel drive. While all three share many similarities, including bodies based on Clio R.S. Line, this new version has also benefited from the expertise of the technical teams at Viry-Châtillon and Dieppe to exploit the liberties offered by the Rally3 regulations. The teams have worked in-depth on several areas, guided by the quest for efficiency.

Clio Rally3 is powered by the 1.3-litre TCe 16-valve turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with direct injection, with power and torque increased to 260 hp and 415 Nm after 299 engine map studies. The engine is mated to a five-speed SADEV gearbox with a limited-slip differential. Specific attention has been paid to the search for performance and reliability thanks to the experience of the teams at Viry-Châtillon. Combined with the expertise of Castrol - a partner in both the Renault and BWT Alpine F1 Team customer racing programmes – it has helped to optimise the lubrication of the engine and transmission, which is of particular importance with a four-wheel drive car.

Assembled by the Manufacture Alpine Dieppe Jean Rédélé, Clio Rally3 is fitted with Michelin tyres, another long-standing partner of Renault's customer racing activities and a guarantee of proven performance.

Aerodynamics has benefited from numerous synergies within the Renault Group. Thanks to its privileged relationship with Enstone, Viry-Châtillon was able to draw on the expertise and calculation resources of BWT Alpine F1 Team to design the Clio Rally3's rear wing, which is simple in appearance, but highly effective. Other mechanical components have been specifically designed to combine performance and reliability on all surfaces. Clio Rally3 comes with state-of-the-art adjustable BOS Suspension dampers. As a new feature is the installation of a tunnel at the back, the rear axle protection has also been cleverly thought out. A Life Racing box controls the electronic management system,  integrating the engine and chassis data acquisition system.

Safety has remained a key concern, with the latest standard features. In addition to the PFC Brakes, the crew can count on Sabelt seats that meet the new FIA homologation (valid for ten years) and six-point harnesses. Lastly, for added comfort, Clio Rally3 has an adjustable pedal and steering column to adapt the driving position to all body sizes.

The development of Clio Rally3 began on 24 May 2022 and was completed six months later in Spain after 22 days and more than 4,500 kilometres of testing on tarmac and gravel with eight drivers and 11 co-drivers representing a broad range of experience.

The car quickly met all the objectives set for it, including reliability and performance indicators on representative stages and in a variety of conditions, in order to prepare it as well as possible for its racing future. All the developers validated the solutions chosen whilst praising the qualities of the chassis-engine combination, its uncompromising level of safety and its remarkable efficiency.

Clio Rally3's versatility, performance and reliability were also unanimously praised by the prospective drivers, both new to and experienced in four-wheel drive, who took it in turns to discover it during a test session in late November.

Clio Rally3 is continuing its homologation process with the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile, in parallel with its presentation to the press in Andorra on Sunday. This process should wrap up in April 2023. Once homologated, Clio Rally3 will be eligible for rallies ranging from regional events to FIA World Rally Championship rounds, providing a genuine stepping stone into four-wheel drive competition.

Renault has defied the stopwatch since its beginnings in rallying and won the hearts of enthusiasts with its results. At the same time, it has inspired many amateur drivers to enjoy themselves at the wheel of versatile, high-performance, reliable, agile and cost-effective cars.

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  Article Image gallery (13) Specifications