Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

Renault Clio Renaultsport performance options are limited to just one engine and gearbox combination. It uses a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol unit mated to a six-speed semi-automatic ‘box. This EDC transmission is set to boost economy and lower emissions but a six-speed manual gearbox would have been a better choice for the flagship model in the Clio range.

However, the launch of the special edition Clio Renaultsport 220 Trophy EDC in summer 2015 has tried to address that with more power and quicker gear shift times.

With maximum pulling power of 240Nm, this model has an additional 25Nm of torque over the previous generation and is 36kg lighter. This means it’s quicker and it feels quick too; it will get from zero to 62mph in 6.7 seconds and has a top speed of 143mph. You get the pops and burbles when downshifting and the Clio Renaultsport 200 sounds good, however, it doesn’t have the rawness that made the third generation so good.

There are three driving modes to play with: Normal, Sport and Race. Normal is the default setting and in this mode the Renault Clio Renaultsport 200 is easy to drive.

Switch to the Sport mode and the Clio becomes feistier. The acceleration is optimized, as are the gear shifts, while any wheel spin is controlled by the ASR traction control.

Race mode is best used when on a track day. When you toggle the Renaultsport button to get this mode the ASR traction control is disconnected while gear-shifts are entirely manual, using the paddle shifters behind the steering wheel.

The fourth generation Renault Clio Renaultsport handles well with the standard suspension. It is 36kg lighter than the previous generation.

It has tons of grip on turn-in but unfortunately there is not the same amount of feedback through the wheel that the previous generation had. That’s a great shame, because you never get the same amount of confidence from the car when comparing to the third generation. The steering is direct but it could do with having a bit more weight to please enthusiastic drivers. The variable weighting is good but it feels a tad artificial.

In Cup set-up the Clio does feel better and for enthusiasts this is the car to choose. It’s still not as raw or as ‘sorted’ as the previous generation but it is better honed for enthusiastic drivers.

Renault has tried to boast the appeal of the Clio hot hatch to driving enthusiasts with a special edition. The Clio Renaultsport 220 Trophy EDC boasts a lower, stiffer chassis plus the steering rack is even quicker than the standard Clio Renaultsport. Along with Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres fitted as standard it should provide an improvement to the car’s handling and driver engagement.