Paris 2012: Renault debuts new design direction with Clio and ZOE

Paris 2012: Renault debuts new design direction with Clio and ZOE image

Text: / Photos: Press | posted October 01, 2012 18:36

New dynamic design direction hopes to rekindle relationship of Renault with customers

Renault revealed its new design identity at the 2012 Paris Motor Show with the new-generation Clio and the ZOE electric car.  The design renewal is led by Renault's Chief Designer Laurens van den Acker, who joined the company in 2009. The new models stand out as emblematic illustrations of the brand's styling renaissance.

Clio RenaultSport 200 Turbo

New Clio Range

The new Clio also adds a Clio Estate and Clio Renaultsport 200 Turbo to the range.  The exterior is smoothly flowing and free from hard edges, the new Clio's design is all about volumes. Renault's designers have paid close attention to achieving balanced proportions. It is lower slung and wider compared to the previous generation model. A coupe-like silhouette is created by concealing the rear door handles. The design strategy of combining aesthetics with functionality is clearly visible in numerous aspects of the interior, including the dashboard in the shape of an aircraft wing, the neat packaging of the multimedia systems in the center console, the availability of stowage areas throughout the cabin; careful attention to detail and the invigorating ambience generated by the choice of colors.

Personalization Options

Like its competitors, the Clio will feature personalization options for exterior details like door mirrors, rear bumper apron, grill, tailgate, side moldings as well as wheels. Inside, the dashboard trim strip and door panel trims can be coordinated with highlights on the upholstery as well as floor mats. In addition, gloss color touches to the steering wheel, door panels, gear lever surround and air vent surrounds can also be customized using insert molding.

Clio Estate

Clio Estate

Renault is also jumping into the shooting brake bandwagon and incorporating the inspirations from the designs cues of shooting brakes to the estate version of the Clio. It will ride on the same wheelbase but the rear overhang has been extended by 201-millimeters to 823-millimeters, bringing total length to 4,262-millimeters.

RenaultSport 200 Turbo rear

Clio Renaultsport 200 Turbo

Renault's new hot hatch will be powered by a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine producing 200hp and 240Nm of torque. The previous generation sported a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated that produced 200hp with 25Nm less torque. Power transfer to the wheels is via a manual gearbox with Renault's first dual-clutch system called the EDC (efficient double clutch).  An RS Drive button will offer three modes - Normal, Sport and Race which will alter throttle response, gearbox, steering and allow a higher stability control threshold.

Two chassis options are also available. An 'A Sport' variant for customers who prefer sportiness with comfort; while a 'Cup' variant is set up to be 15 percent stiffer and 5mm lower for the more performance oriented.



The ZOE is the brand's first mass-market electric car which features technological advancements with environmental consciousness in mind. It also features Renault's new dynamic front-end signature further emphasizing green cars can look cool. The interior is characterized by an experience that gives occupants a calming and relaxing feeling for the 'ZEN' variant, while the INTENS variant shows a more dynamic appeal with black and high-tech features.


Also debuting with the new models is the new Renault R-Link integrated multimedia tablet which integrates navigation, voice commands, telephony, entertainment and other features of the car with the Internet. The 7-inch touchscreen system is neatly integrated to the modern center console. The feature will be eventually extended to entire vehicle range for future models.