Paris Motor Show 2012: Match between the Renault Clio 4 RS/Dunlop and the Peugeot 208 GTi/Michelin
It has been billed as one of the highlights at the Paris Motor Show 2012: The face to face between the Renault Clio 4 RS and the Peugeot 208 GTi, two little bombs specially prepared for some sporty driving. The best enemies are battling it out on several points, and in particular, the choice of tyres: Renault has opted for Dunlop and Peugeot, for Michelin.
The confrontation between Peugeot and Renault has become a classic played out on the industrial stage and in the world of car enthusiasts. The Paris Motor Show 2012 staged the next round of this competition. Is this a coincidence? Probably not.
Recently launched, the Peugeot 208 and the Renault Clio 4 are two models whose commercial success is extremely important for the two French brands’ future. Although sales volumes are not high for the RS and GTi versions, they play an important role in boosting the entire product range and brand image.
Over the years, the gap between the two models has widened. At Renault, they boasted uncompromising sportiness, whereas Peugeot focused on a sporty-chic style. At the Paris Motor Show 2012, these trends seem to be reversed: The Clio has become more subtle and the 208 more mischievous.
Renault Clio 4 RS versus Peugeot 208 GTi
Mechanically, both cars are very similar: 1.6L turbo engine delivering 200 hp. However, on the dynamic front – chassis, suspensions, tyres – choices are clear cut.
The Renault Clio 4 RS is available with two chassis options: A Sport chassis, suitable for fast road driving, and a Cup chassis, adapted for track use. Compared with the Sport, the Cup chassis is 15% stiffer and has a 5mm lower ride height.
For the Peugeot 208 GTi, the focus is on a sporty design: Lighter weight, 10mm wider track at the front and 20mm wider at the rear, firmer subframe and crossmember, not forgetting the revised suspension.
As for tyres, the 208 GTi was fitted with Michelin Pilot Exalto 2 tyres, size 205 45R17 88V, at the Motor Show. Based on our assumptions, we expect to see the PE2 replaced by the Pilot Sport 3 when the first vehicles are delivered, a sportier look in line with the 208’s sporty demeanor.
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