2019 Renault Clio to be electrified and feature level two autonomy
Evolutionary styling changes are expected, while electrification will spread from the Mégane
The next-generation Renault Clio will be both electrified and have level two autonomy when renewed in 2019.
Last seen testing on public roads in the current model’s body, the next-generation Clio will feature hybrid models, as well as being the first B-segment Renault car to feature level two autonomy – in which speed and steering of the car are controlled by the car, but the driver must focus upon the road. The developments were announced by executive vice president and chairman of Renault Europe, Jean-Christophe Kugler today.
It will also feature cutting-edge Renault connectivity technology, Kugler revealed, speaking at the brand’s Drive the Future conference, which sets out Renault’s future plans between today and 2022.
Disguised as a current-generation car, the new Clio has entered the testing phase of development, with the exposed steel wheels, matt grey bodywork and an unusual tailpipe giving away the test mule’s identity.
The current Clio was launched in 2012, meaning a replacement isn’t due for at least another year; a facelifted model launched last year marked the midpoint of its life cycle.
Low-capacity petrol engines are a dead cert, although the brand’s 0.9-litre TCe turbocharged three-cylinder has faced criticism so will likely be heavily revised if it isn’t replaced. Diesel engines, including a 1.5-litre DCi shared with Nissan, will be maintained, despite the market’s ongoing shift away from oil-burners. What’s certain is that the entire line-up will have improved performance, economy and emissions compared with the current Clio.
Renault stayed tight-lipped on the details, but there’s a chance that the Hybrid Assist mild hybrid powertrain from the Mégane and Scenic could be carried over. Should the model be given a plug-in hybrid powertrain, it will be the first in the supermini segment to gain such a variant. The brand also wouldn’t specify whether one variant would feature a hybrid system, or if all variants would be electrified.
The Clio is also expected to follow the Mégane in having a more upmarket interior, a horizontally oriented infotainment system, as well as a large Renault badge and C-shaped daytime running light signature.
Styling could be drawn from recent concepts, including the Trezor and Symbioz, although it will naturally be toned down. The Clio has in the past led the styling direction in the Renault range, so its new look should preview the facelifted Mégane and other models.
Source: Autocar Online