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Renault Sport might switch to automatics


Renault Sport – the French carmakers performance arm – is considering very seriously moving away from manual transmission in the near future in a bit to further exploit its links with modern motorsport while also expanding its global reach.

Renault has admitted – at the recent international launch of the Clio RS – that it is necessary to make the move to automatic transmissions in order to grow the Renault Sport brand globally.

And apropos of the new Clio RS – it has ditched the naturally aspirated 2.0-litre four-cylinder for a lighter 1.6-litre turbo, which was developed as part of the Renault-Nissan alliance, and it will be available exclusively with a six-speed dual clutch transmission.

The move towards offering an automatic transmission was engineered intot he project from the very start so as to follow in the footsteps of other competitors in the class, such as the Volkswagen Polo GTI.

The main reason behind the move away from manual transmissions in the Clio RS came from the advancements in transmissions that have allowed the dual-clutch automatics to shit faster than before, deliver better acceleration times as well as improve fuel economy and emissions when compared to the manual transmission model.

This is just the beginning of the company’s wish to maximize its association with Formula One cars – for which the French automaker has been a championship-winning engine supplier – because Formula One cars use dual-clutch transmissions.

It’s still early days in regards to future Renault Sport models because the current dual-clutch transmission system couldn’t really handle the torque from a more powerful engine, such as the Megane RS265 engine and this brings up an interesting issue. The issue being that owners who will be seeking to further modify or tune their new Clio RS will be putting more pressure on the dual-clutch transmission, possibly more than it can handle.

We’ll just have to wait and see what the future holds.

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