Clio Renaultsport R3 Access is the new entry level version of the R3 Maxi - developed for customers wishing to compete in rallies. Renault Sport Technologies has used the R3 Maxi as a base to produce an extremely competitive Access version which has opened up the world of rallying to an even wider audience.
The 2007 season saw Renault Sport Technologies introduce regular changes to the specification of Clio Renaultsport R3 Maxi in collaboration with its customers who in turn profited from the reliability and performance potential of the brand's latest rally challenger to secure some 20 two-wheel drive category wins, including two overall victories.
The 2008 season has seen the Clio Renaultsport R3 range extended with the introduction of the entry level Access version which enables rally drivers to compete for a lower initial investment and on a third of the budget required to campaign the Maxi-spec car.
Clio Renaultsport R3 Access shares many of the Maxi's basic features, including a Clio Renaultsport bodyshell strengthened by a welded roll-cage incorporating more than 40 metres of tubing. The clutch, six-speed sequential gearbox and limited slip differential are also common to both models, as are the steering rack, the electrical system and the Magneti-Marelli ECU which incorporates the data acquisition system.
Clio Renault Sport R3 Access benefits from the very latest developments, including a new reinforced subframe. The 1,998cc F4R RS engine (4 cylinders in line, 16 valves), which is derived from the powerplant of Clio Renaultsport 197, develops peak power of 200hp and features a specific camshaft and exhaust manifold, while the flywheel is the same as that seen on the Maxi version.
Developed exclusively for tarmac rallying, Clio Renault Sport R3 Access uses the same suspension of the standard car with strengthened struts and specific kinematics for the independent steering axis front suspension. The newcomer is fitted with Bilstein dampers all-round and profits from the high performance braking system featured on Clio Renaultsport 197, with standard front discs and four-piston Brembo callipers.
The one-piece aluminium alloy 7x17-inch Speedline wheels and Michelin 19/62-17 tyres are identical to those of Clio Renaultsport R3 Maxi.
There is no mistaking the competition pedigree of the Access version's upper-range interior which sees the gearshift control positioned right next to the steering wheel.
The kit also features Sabelt safety equipment, most of which is identical to that of the Maxi version. The standard pedal assembly has been reinforced.
To enable customers to improve the performance of their Clio Renaultsport R3 Access as a function of their ambitions and budget, it is possible to upgrade the basic spec thanks to Premium kits (chassis, brakes and engine) which ultimately permit it to reach the same specification as the Maxi version.
As with all Renault Sport competition cars, the Rally Customer Competition department provides a broad range of services, including the extranet website which provides all the documentation required to build the Access and Premium kits.
The Clio Renault Sport R3 Access kit, including all the specific parts to be fitted to the car, comes at a pre-tax price of â‚¬32,600 in France. The cost of competing is estimated to be â‚¬17 per kilometre.
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