The 2012 ‘Golden Steering Wheel’ award was given to the New Clio at a special ceremony in Berlin, Germany. Accepting the honor was Stefan Mueller, Executive Vice President, Chairman of Europe Region. A few weeks ago, the New Clio also got the RTL/Auto Plus ‘Best Production Car’ prize at the recently held Paris Motor Show.
It also earned the recognition for best ‘Small Car’ by the Axel Springer Group’s weekly BILD am SONNTAG, Germany’s top-selling Sunday publication, and AutoBILD, the best-selling car magazine in the world. AutoBILD runs several local editions in eastern Europe and Asia aside from its European sister magazines such as Auto Express in the UK.
It invited its entire readership of about 73 million to vote for the model they like the best. The 2012 Gold Steering Wheel awards are now on their 37th year. This year, there were 44 entries divided into six categories. For the MPV and coupé/cabriolet classes, the readers directly decided the winners.
For the four other categories, there had to be an exhaustive road test of each of the five finalists by a panel of personalities at the Balocco test facilities in Italy before the final vote.
The drivers were Mattias Ekström, Hans-Joachim Stuck, Walter Röhrl, Christina Surer and Vanina Ickx. Joining them were the chief editors of the AutoBILD group’s European magazines, and various celebrities from the sport industry and show business, such as Franz Beckenbauer and Boris Becker.
Renault’s design renaissance – as inspired by Laurens van den Acker – is fully expressed on the new Renault Clio. This design renaissance aimed to transfer the style and emotion of the Renault’s concept cars to its production models -- a goal that the new Clio managed to achieve.
Defining the design of the new five-door Clio is a front end marked by the Renault logo set bold against a gloss black background -- a styling cue that made its debut on the Renault DeZir concept car. The front end of the new Clio is further accentuated by its headlights units with chrome details as well as by its LED daytime running lights.
When viewed from the sides, the new Renault Clio exposes a sporty silhouette, as highlighted by integrated rear door handles carefully concealed near the rear quarter lights.
At launch, the new Renault Clio could be availed in any of eight exterior colors. Four of these eight colors are new like the Flame Red launch color that was inspired by the DeZir concept car.
The balanced proportions of the new Renault Clio are attributed to its harmonious dimensions -- 4,062 mm in length, 1,732 mm in width (excluding mirrors) and 1,448 mm in height. Compared to its predecessor, the new Clio sits 45 mm closer and has wider front and rear tracks (by between 34 mm and 36 mm).