The third-generation Renault Clio will be available on the South African market by April next year, the French manufacturer announced on Monday.

The third-generation Renault Clio will be available on the South African market by April next year, the French manufacturer announced on Monday. reported on Friday that the 3,99m-long new light car, which is based on the Renault-Nissan Alliance-developed B platform (Micra, Modus), would be launched at the Frankfurt Show.

The Clio III is more spacious and offers more equipment than the current car and will be available in France shortly after the show, the rest of Europe by year-end and in other parts of the world (eg. South Africa) by April next year.

By virtue of its increased dimensions, the Clio III is claimed to offer more interior space for passengers, “both in three- and five-door format” and the manufacturer prioritised improved on-road refinement and “acoustic comfort”.

Clio III’s suspension is based on that of its Mégane II sibling, and comprises a long wheelbase, wider track and lowered centre of gravity. Stopping power is provided by eighth-generation Bosch ABS with electronic brake force distribution and emergency brake assist.

Apart from a number of programmed deformation zones, Renault's third-generation System for Restraint and Protection (up to eight airbags, including two adaptive front airbags complete with load limiter and double pretensioners for the front seats), the Clio III will also be available with the electronic stability programme (ESP) incorporating ASR traction control, understeer control and MSR engine torque overrun regulation.

According to Renault, Clio III will be the first car in its segment to offer additional cornering headlamps, double distance xenon headlamps for enhanced night visibility and a hands-free card for unlocking and ignition – are totally new in this segment.

Clio III will be available with a choice of state-of-the-art petrol and Euro 4 compliant common rail diesel engines. The petrol engine range comprises a 1,2-litre 16V (55 kW, 105 N.m), a 1,4-litre 16V (72 kW, 127 N.m) and a 1,6-litre 16V (82 kW, 151 N.m) unit, while the 1,5-litre dCi diesel engine will be available in three power outputs: 52 kW, 64 kW and 79 kW.

The list of available transmission options for Clio III includes a six-speed manual on the 79 kW dCi. A robotised "quick-shift" transmission, operated via paddles located behind the steering wheel, will also be offered.

Renault vice-president Jacques Prost said the new Clio would be manufactured at plants in Flins and Dieppe in France and Bursa in Turkey and that the manufacturer had reduced costs by reducing the car’s development time to 28 months, compared with 49 months in the previous version.

“This is the shortest development time ever achieved for a Renault. The reduction made significant contribution to cutting costs,” Prost said, adding that the Flins plant, which specialises in small cars, would be used as a pilot site.

Annual production there would be aimed at about 325 000 vehicles, he was quoted as saying.

Original article from Car