As the latest model to feature Renault's new styling look, the new Clio is the work of a team led by former Mazda design boss, Laurens van den Acker.
The 2013 Clio gets a muscular yet curvy new body, featuring a front-end dominated by a long grille connecting with large headlights at either end.
Pronounced guards emphasise a sporting intent, while a steep beltline rises to meet handles integrated into the pillar of the rear doors.
Van den Acker says that with this coupe-like approach to the new Clio, there will be no need for a three-door version.
"New Renault Clio was conceived as a piece of sensuous sculpture which stimulates desire," van den Acker said.
"Like muscles, its curves express the dynamism radiated by the DeZir concept car. No acute or aggressive angles, just voluptuous curves that make you want to go up to it and caress it."
Inside, the 2013 Clio is a portrait of simplicity, with a spartan dash layout dominated by a gloss-black finish to the centre stack, where a large display screen runs the show.
The Clio will launch in Europe later this year with two engines: one petrol and one diesel.
The range will kick off with a turbocharged 0.9 litre three-cylinder petrol engine producing 67kW and 135Nm of torque, with fuel consumption listed at 4.3 l/100km.
A 1.5 litre four-cylinder turbodiesel follows, delivering 67kW and 220Nm of torque, with fuel consumption listed at a low 3.2 l/100km.
A second petrol engine will launch in the first half of 2013 - likely the cause of Australia's mid-2013 wait. This engine is a 1.2 litre turbocharged four-cylinder, producing 89kW and 190Nm of torque.
Renault has confirmed a six-speed EDC automatic transmission with this engine, although fuel figures are still to be confirmed.
The EDC transmission will also be available with the 1.5 litre diesel in the first half of 2013.
Recent spy photos reveal that a new Renaultsport performance version is also in the works. Details for this model have not been revealed, although reports suggest it will be driven by the turbocharged 1.6 litre mill that powers the Nissan Juke.
Full details for the new Clio will be revealed at the Paris Motor Show in September, but Renault has let slip a few key features.
The display will also feature TomTom navigation with Nokia's Navteq maps, offering 2D and 3D maps and directions.
A new 'clever' R-Sound Effect audio system will feature, along with Bluetooth and USB/iPod audio connectivity across the range.
A new personalisation program will be offered with the 2013 Clio, allowing for greater customer choice in colours and fabrics across a number of exterior and interior features.
Personalisation options will include the dashboard, door panels, steering wheel, grab handles, gear lever surround, air vent surrounds, upholstery materials and optional floor mats.
Speaking with TMR today, Renault Australia's Emily Ambrosy confirmed that the new Clio line will arrive in mid-2013.
Pricing, specifications and details will be revealed closer to launch.
Watch for the Clio's world premiere at September's Paris Motor Show.
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