Renault's next generation Clio won't be offered as a three-door model - even the hot-hatch version, a new Clio Renaultsport, will have five doors, the firm's product chief has revealed.
The new supermini will also draw more design cues from the radical Dezir sports car concept than the Zoe electric supermini.
The next Clio is due to make its debut next year, probably at the Paris motor show in the autumn. The Zoe - which has already been previewed in near-production form - will make its debut at the traditional spring show in Geneva.
There's already been intense speculation that the Zoe's cute looks will be adopted by the Clio, particularly since the all-electric supermini is the first such creation styled under the direction of Renault design chief Laurens van den Acker.
However, Renault Group's product manager Beatrice Foucher told What Car? that while some cues will be carried over, the dramatic Dezir gives a more reliable pointer to the Clio's face.
'You have seen here the first touch of the new Clio's front end, on the Twingo facelift,' she said.
'Zoe will remain only Zoe, with EV only. We need to have a standalone car like that. There will be elements that will be shared, but the Clio will be closer to the Twingo, and also to Dezir.'
Foucher said the next Clio will look wider than the outgoing model. 'It will have a more extreme look,' she said. 'It's relatively easy to make the car look wider when you lower the roofline. It has a very nice stance.'
Five doors cheap
Foucher confirmed that the next Clio will be offered as a five-door model only. 'When it comes to making the car, we have to invest a lot of money in a three-door,' she said. 'And yet when selling the car, the three-door is usually the cheaper option. So we have decided from the start that this will be a five-door model.'
She also confirmed this would apply to the next generation of high-performance Renaultsport Clio - but indicated that styling ‘tricks’, such as ‘hiding’ the rear door handles in the C-pillars, could be employed in a bid to give the Clio the side profile of a three-door.
She added that the next Clio will offer more scope for personalisation. 'Customers these days want to have something that is only for them,' she said. 'That adds up to customisation, so we need to offer that.'
Our reviews are based on hard data and thorough testing in the real world.
Up to the minute news from around the globe