Renault is a French car manufacturer. The company produced the supermini car called the Renault Clio. The model was first launched in the year 1990. As of the year 2012, the Clio is in its 4th generation of production. The Clio has been successful both critically and commercially and has been one of the top selling cars from Europe since it was first released. The vehicle is often credited for restoring the reputation of the Renault brand after a rough time frame during the second part of the 1980s. It is one of only 2 cars that have been voted as being the European Car for the Year 2 times, in both 1991 and in the year 2006. The other car that has this honor is the Volkswagen Golf.
The Clio is called the Lutecia in Japan. The reason for this is because the Honda Company has the rights for the name Clio because of the Honda Clio that was made in 1984.
The Renault Clio was first introduced in June of the year 1990 at the Motor Show in Paris. Sales started in France and the rest of Europe at that time, except in Britain, where the Clio was not sold until the year 1991.
The Clio was a replacement for the 5 Mk2 even though the 5 Mk2 was still built, but in lower volume, until the year 1996. The suspension and the floor pan of the Clio were very similar to that of the 5 MK2.
After just one year of being sold, a minor upgrade was given to the Clio. There was a smoother version of the company’s diamond badge as the previous ribbed version was starting to be phased out. There was also a new design for the front seat. These were really the only changes that were made. This alter in design was not designated as a new phase for the vehicle.
The Phase 2 version of the vehicle was launched in March of 1994. There were some small updates made to the interior and exterior of the car. The most noticeable change was made to the front grille which went from having 2 metal ribs to having a single color slat grille. Bump strips were a bit rounder and larger and the trim level badge was then incorporated into the tailgate. The tailgate strip was provided with a carbon fiber look. The rear lights of the vehicle were changed to a more round, bubble shape, which provided it with a look that was more modern.
In the year 1991, the Clio was chosen as the car of the year in Europe. Not long after, the Clio became one of the best selling cars of Europe. It was also the first car for the Renault Company that was consistently in the top ten sellers.
During the 1993 model year there was a warm hatch version of the vehicle offered. This version was aesthetically similar, but added a 110 PS 8 valve engine, disc brakes, and side skirts. It also used a multi-point fuel system and was badges as the RSi.
The 3rd phase of the Clio came in the year 1996. The changes made to the 3rd generation were somewhat more noticeable than those of the phase 2. The headlights of the 3rd phase were more rounded and a turn signal was placed in the unit along with the headlight. The bonnet was a bit more curved around the edges, towards the headlights. There was a 3rd brake light added to the back and a script “Clio” badge was added to the rear as well.