Renault will start selling a new Clio Williams in 2014 as part of a current campaign to maximize the benefits from its F1 participation and to promote the technology transfer between its racing success and road cars. Renault hasn’t given official confirmation yet that a new Clio Williams is being developed but according to sources, this car will be a faster, more hardcore version of the new Clio Renaultsport 200 Turbo.
Sources also said that the program may be revealed this year. However, the car is not likely to start selling for at least 18 months so that it doesn’t steal publicity away from the launch of the new Clio RS 200. It has yet to be determined too if Williams will take part in developing the car, says Autocar.
It didn’t play a part in the design or engineering of the original Clio Williams but it had become more active in diversifying its business in the past few years, which include being able to work with Jaguar on hybrid technology for its C-X75 supercar. Being a customer of Renault’s F1 division, involvement in this project is likely to provide the opportunity of cutting its lease bills for making use of the engines.
Renaultsport had solely developed the original Clio Williams. It was launched in 1993 right after Nigel Mansell’s F1 championship-winning season in a Renault-powered Williams. It had high sales and got a lot of praises.
The demand for the vehicle was so high that from an original planned production run of 3800 units, it was raised to 12,100. At the recent Paris motor show, the new Clio RS was launched with more of the technology and appearance from the F-1 car.
Specifically, Renaultsport emphasized the car’s steering wheel-mounted gearshift paddles and use of ‘Diamond-Like Carbon’ cam followers, which lead to a much lower friction for higher performance and fuel efficiency.