The fourth-generation Clio, unveiled ahead of its Paris Motor Show debut, shows great promise for the variant we’re more interested in – namely the Clio Renaultsport.

For a start it’s on average 100kg lighter than its predecessor. It also features a lower ride height, wider tracks — with its wheels pushed out wide within the arches, and a reduction in the gap between the wheels and wheel arches.

It always helps the sporting version of a model, when the base model is already engineered for maximum driving pleasure.

We’ll have to wait and see how this all plays out on the road – Renault’s press release focuses mainly on the new more fuel efficient engines (TCe 120 (2013), Energy dCi 90, Energy TCe 90, 1.2 16V 75hp & dCi 75), its integrated touch screen tablet device and R-Link, which bridges the gap between the car and the connected world outside.

The changes we’ll need to look more closely at include the new Clio’s 5-door only design (with its concealed rear handles) which takes its inspiration from Renault’s DeZir concept car and the new EDC Dual Clutch transmission, offered for first time on the Clio as an option.

For the time being the new Clio looks promising, especially given its impressive weight loss, but we’ll have to wait until 2013 before the boys at Renaultsport have worked their magic.

* * *