Renault launched the new Clio Renaultsport R3T this week, which will be eligible for FIA European Rally Championship events from the middle of 2014 onwards.

The new challenger is powered by a turbocharged engine and is an uprated version of the hugely successful Clio Renaultsport R3, which has achieved sales of 373 kits since its launch in 2006. It will join the existing Renault rallying family, which includes the Twingo Renaultsport R2 Evo, the Twingo Renaultsport R1 and the M?gane Renaultsport N4.

Based on the Clio Renaultsport 200 Turbo EDC, a car universally recognised for its performance and versatility on the road, the Clio Renaultsport R3T has been designed to provide a step up in performance for crews.

The kit of components includes a six-speed sequential gearbox, with steering-wheel paddle shifts offered as an optional extra in the asphalt version. It is due to be homologated in mid-2014.

"With the Clio Renaultsport R3T, our aim has been a high-performance, reliable vehicle adaptable to every surface for an operating cost below that of the product it replaces," said Renault Sport Technologies motorsports director Arnaud Boulanger.

The Clio Renaultsport R3T has already been put through its paces in initial testing and Boulanger has been pleased with the outcome.

"Initial tests have been promising and a lengthy development campaign has been scheduled. The Clio Renaultsport R3T will be tested for more than 10 weeks on gravel and Tarmac," he added.