Renault dealers will be expected to take a Clio 1.5 dCi onto their demonstration fleet as part of a campaign to promote the latest diesel technology.
The revised Clio launches next week with a 65bhp version of the 1.5-litre common rail turbodiesel. An 80bhp version arrives in the autumn.
Fraser Davidson, Clio product manager, said the new engine technology gave the car the lowest fuel consumption and lowest CO2 emissions of any car on sale in the UK, apart from electric hybrids.
Combined average fuel consumption on the 80bhp version is 67.3mpg and CO2 emissions are 113g/km.
“We really want dealers to push this car because we believe that once people have driven it they will want one,” said Mr Davidson.
He also believed that people would be “shocked” by the level of equipment offered.
“Clio overtakes Peugeot 206 in terms of specification and quality and I will be curious to see how other manufacturers react to the car,” he said.
Every Clio is fitted as standard with power steering, electric front windows, remote control central locking, emergency brake assist, twin front and side airbags and front and rear wipers that automatically detect rain.
Mr Davidson claims that the extra equipment fitted to the entry-level Clio 1.2 Authentique is worth £1,100, none of which was fitted to the previous Clio Liberte 1.2. New Clio Authentique 3dr is £7,495, which is £50 more than the outgoing model.
Original Clio was launched in 1991 and sold 300,000 in seven years before Clio II was launched in 1998. In three years, Clio II sold 200,000 units. “Our target is to outsell Clio II,” said Mr Davidson.
“Clio is such an important car for Renault and this is the biggest investment in mid-life improvements the company has made.”
Total investment is £120m. Half of Clio's structural and bodywork components are either new or modified. The interior is new.
Renault's all-new Clio is being developed in conjunction with alliance partner Nissan's next Micra – both are due by 2004.