What I am missing is this crazy bit. Where are specials
like Recaro seats, unbelieveably tricky dampers, a special
Nowhere. And that is the matter for me. The new Trophy
is not a driving machine anymore but a sporty little car
(I think that it is fast) with a well specced interior. But
nothing special anymore because of its lacking focus on
driving pleasure and madness.
It seems to have delivered against what Renault/Renaultsport intended, and I'm sure it will sell in decent numbers.
It's not the driver-focused machine like the Trophy we all know & love, but the game has moved on, and there's money to be made selling a warm/very warm hatch to the masses, rather than selling 500 units to knowledgeable driving enthusiasts.
I crave the day when a manufacturer gets brave and produces a lightweight vehicle with incredible handling characteristics but I just can't see it, especially when cars like the new Fiesta ST seem to have done so well at all-rounder capabilities (bar a keen price).
What can Renaultsport do with the Clio 4 next? A Trophy Black Edition / R / RS / Superleggera / Challlenge Stradale / etc... ?
Clio Wooden Spoon about sums it up. I read an interesting quote from the RenaultSport Sales and Marketing Director on Pistonheads:
"We believe Clio 4 (RS) is a success; it is the car we wanted to do", explains Regis Fricotte, Sales and Marketing Director, unapologetically. Clio 3 (RS) was a race car for everyday. With Clio 4 (RS) we wanted to provide a comfortable car for everyday race".
He hits the nail on the head. A comfortable car that's a bit racy if you want it to be. It's selling well in other markets and I can't see Renault bringing out another tarmac rally car for the road again. Which is pretty well what the Clio 2 Trophy was. That's what I'd want and would buy.
I was surprised the Clio 3 Raider didn't have the circuit racing/rally cars dampers as the cup racing cars are very popular and where the Clio 2 Trophy dampers came from; they just went for leather, paint and all the toys.
Perhaps at the run out of this Clio 4 RS model they will do a stripped out R version like the Megane Trophy R. To me this Clio 4 RS Trophy seems a little like the Clio 3 RS Cup, but with nice seats and a better interior than standard or stripped version. In France they've released a Monaco version of the Clio 4 RS, which is a nice paint job and interior, but not with the Trophy's performance changes.
Race car for everyday is what the enthusiast wants. Make 500 again, they'd sell in a flash. Trouble is, looking after them down the line is a pain for Renault. Look at the fuss Clio 2 Trophy owners cause wanting to maintain a supply of parts and dampers. I expect Renault would rather do without the headache. Even if it is one of the most talked about and respected cars they've made.
It's what they did with the Megane RS 250, they introduced the first 265 as a Trophy, then the 265 became the norm. Look on the bright side, keeps the real deal Clio Trophy as a proper collectable not a marketing ploy to sell more Clios!
I agree. I did a drift session at good wood FOS in one of those and it was a hoot. Everyone should have a car like that. People are just boring. I think 90% of peoples idea of driving fast is getting round a corner and putting there foot down. Or looking at a 0-60 time. If they want to see what fast is they need to sit in a trophy with a decent driver and feel some real cornering speed. That's fast, because its a properly focused car. Not a convinent, safe and well specced car that can go fast. Real drivers don't want a fully loaded model. Which is why the new one misses for me. Its prob too heavy and because it's comfortable and got gadgets people will sit back and drive like Doris drives her Hyundai.
Was at the press day on Tuesday and took a few snaps of it.
Im glad they have updated the appalling gearbox but also annoyed they havent shed weight with this version. The car feels big in whatever guise you drive it, upping power and fixing the lethargic 'box isnt enough really.
I think this new Trophy is going to be a good car. It suits my needs now as a 5 door and I could put up with the gearbox if it's faster. The problem is it just doesn't look good enough. It's a relatively big soft monobox from the side and doesn't have the flared arches and stance of the previous cars. It does nothing for me I'm afraid. A golf GTD looks sportier.
The BRZ/86 has a similar problem. I would have to take the rear spoiler off and find something cleaner. Then it still has dodgy rear lights. Sort those out and give it another 40 hp like a 15 year old S2000 and i'd be sold.
Hate the wheels, should have just gone back to speed line to get something much nicer looking. Surely an akrapovic exhaust, recaro seats and ohlin dampers plus a perfo front hub setup or LSD would be the ultimate icing on the cake.