After yesterday’s reveal of the interior (see the Related Articles sidebar), Renault have today shown off the exterior of their fifth-generation Clio supermini. It is the result of the same “Evolution and Revolution” approach as was taken to the interior – but arguably with slightly more bias towards ‘evolution’.
Senior VP of design, Laurens van den Acker, says of the car: “The exterior design of Clio IV won over our customers and continues to do so today, so we chose to keep that DNA while bringing modernity and elegance to the new model. The interior has undergone a true revolution, with a considerable improvement in perceived quality, greater sophistication and technology.”
While the proportions and roofline appear to be identical to the Clio IV, the fifth-generation Clio sits on Renault-Nissan’s brand-new ‘CMF-B’ platform (the first such car from either brand) while every body panel is new and aesthetically evolved.
The DRG has been updated to include the same ‘cheekbone’ headlight graphic, with its extending DRL strip, as is seen on the Megane, Koleos and other large international models. A skinny chrome inlay reaches from the badge and effectively runs ‘through’ the main headlight cluster, while the foglights in the bumper shed their black plastic housing to help add to a more upmarket feel.
Along the bodyside, the waistline over the front wheel is now a little less curvaceous and follows the DLO more closely. An indentation similar to that of the Megane then fades out as it runs beneath the mirror, while below, the previous chrome-on-black light catcher is replaced by a body-coloured take on the idea, with a thick chrome strip running straight along the bottom and terminating in the word ‘CLIO’ – in case anyone viewing it from the side was curious to know.
The key line of the light catcher, and the bottom edge of the DLO, are both reshaped to be straighter and have a more pronounced kick where they arch away from each other to avoid the rear wheel area. The DLO’s chrome strip no longer points towards the rear spoiler, instead wrapping all the way around the side windows.
The rear door handle remains hidden but is executed much more neatly as it now hides underneath the door’s plastic trim, accessed via a scalloped black indentation in the C-pillar.
At the rear, the soft haunch over the rear axle is largely unchanged, while the same bridge-like line joining the tail lights together appears on the tailgate – although the light clusters themselves now boast a more three-dimensional treatment with deeply inset reverse and indicator lights, while a chrome-look strip runs through them.
The lower rear apron removes most of the blacked-out area seen on the Clio IV, with the chrome strip of the old car’s tailgate now sitting atop this apron.
The new Clio has been futureproofed, in line with Renault’s “Drive the Future (2017-2022)” plan to electrify 12 models in its range, make all of its cars “connected cars” and give some level of autonomy to 15 models. It will be the first Renault available with a new hybrid system, has a ‘Smart Cockpit’ connective infotainment system and features assistance systems that push the car closer to true autonomy.
The Clio V will make its first public appearance at the Geneva Motor Show in early March.