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Renault Clio RS 18 2018 confirmed for Australia

The RS 18 is named after Renault Sport Formula One Team's 2018 single-seat racecar.

Renault Australia has confirmed this week it will offer the recently revealed Clio RS 18 locally with the special-edition hot hatch to launch in the second half of this year. But its price and number of examples coming Down Under are yet to be determined.

Based on the Clio RS Trophy that costs $42,990 driveaway, the RS 18 is named after Renault Sport Formula One Team's 2018 single-seat racecar, with its cosmetic upgrades reminiscent of the F1 competitor.

While 'RS 18' badging adorns the front doors, grey decals and the new RS double-diamond logo on the roof are clear callbacks to the French marque's Grand Prix racing efforts.

The special-edition is adorned with RS 18 badges. The special-edition is adorned with RS 18 badges.

This theme is continued by the RS 18's 'Deep Black' exterior paint that is contrasted with the front blade, protective side mouldings and wheel centre caps finished in 'Sirius Yellow'.

Rounding out the menacing look is the blacked-out rear badging, front bumper, Renault diamond logo and RS logo, as well as a 'Deep Black' finish for the rear diffuser.

Inside, an Alcantara and leather-trimmed steering wheel and carbon-fibre-accented air vent surrounds are complemented by numbered 'RS'-branded door sills and 'RS' carpet floor mats.

The Trophy-spec chassis has been lowered and stiffened. The Trophy-spec chassis has been lowered and stiffened.

However, the RS 18's changes are not purely cosmetic, as its Trophy-spec chassis has been lowered and stiffened, while ''its front dampers incorporate hydraulic compression stops and its steering is even sharper and more direct'', according to Renault.

Just like its donor variant, the RS 18 is motivated by a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine that punches out 162kW of power at 6050rpm and up to 280Nm of torque at 2000rpm when overboost kicks in. 

An Akrapovic exhaust system will ensure there is plenty of bark to match the potent Clio's bite.

Drive is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed 'EDC' dual-clutch automatic transmission, which means the limited-run variant should complete the 0-100km/h sprint in 6.6 seconds while on the way to a top speed of 234km/h – again mirroring its RS Trophy sibling.

Similarly, claimed fuel consumption of 5.9 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined cycle test and carbon dioxide emissions of 135 grams per km are expected for the RS 18.

Pricing and full specifications will be released closer to the Clio RS 18's arrival in local showrooms.

Is the Renault Clio RS 18 the meanest-looking hot hatch around? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

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