Khodrocar - The move is part of a bid by the French car maker to keep its supermini at the forefront of the sector, especially in the face of increasing competition from compact SUVs, to which traditional small cars are starting to lose out.
Now in the final stages of prototype testing, the fifth-generation Clio is set to marry a honed exterior look with a dramatic new interior dominated by a Tesla-style infotainment screen. It will also be capable of semi-autonomous driving.
The exterior styling will be evolutionary, keeping elements such as rear door handles hidden in the door frames, albeit with a more grown-up look in line with its larger sibling, the Mégane. It’s also expected to take design cues from the Symbioz concept car, shown last year.
The interior will echo the Mégane, taking a leap away from traditional hardware to a large digital dashboard and iPad-esque infotainment screen. This will set it apart from rivals such as the Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo, which have smaller, more traditional screens.
The new Clio is built on the CMF-B platform, an updated version of that used on the existing model and shared with the Nissan Micra.
It will use 1.0-litre and 1.3-litre petrol units, the latter developed with Mercedes, as well as a 1.5-litre dCi diesel with up to 115bhp. A 48V mild-hybrid 1.5 dCi, badged Eco2, is planned but not from launch. A plug-in model is understood to be due in 2020.
Last year, Renault boss Carlos Ghosn announced the French car maker would launch eight electric vehicles in the next five years. However, a purely electric variant of the Clio is not expected to be one of them.
That’s because Renault executives are worried it would steal sales from its existing Zoe electric supermini. The Zoe was the bestselling electric car in Europe in 2017.