Stickers and stripes perhaps, but Renault Sport’s limited edition Clio R.S does accrue extra appeal with a standard Akrapovic exhaust.

Renault Sport is attempting to whip up some interest for its underwhelming Clio R.S. with a new special edition called the R.S. 18. Based on the recently fettled R.S. 220 Trophy, the R.S. 18 will feature a variety of subtle aesthetic changes inside and out, as well as standard fitment of the Trophy’s optional Akrapovic exhaust system.

Available exclusively in black with a suite of Sirius Yellow highlights, the R.S 18 is meant to mimic the look of Renault’s upcoming 2018 F1 contender. Bespoke elements include the yellow wheel centres, a yellow bridge element in the front bumper and black Renault diamond badges. Also prevalent are subtle R.S decals on the front doors and roof. These changes build on the Clio’s recent updates, which introduced new LED lighting units and upgraded interior tech.

New 2018 Renault Sport Megane revealed at Frankfurt motor show

The changes inside are limited to a black Alcantara wrapped steering wheel and stainless steel sill plates, the new carbon-effect trim is less pleasing however.

Dynamically the R.S. 18 is identical to Clio R.S. 220 Trophy, complete with the lowered, stiffened Trophy chassis set up. The R.S. 18 also uses the same 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 217bhp, unfortunately laden with the hesitant and interaction robbing EDC dual-clutch gearbox. Thankfully the fruity Akrapovic exhaust is standard fit on the R.S. 18, but still doesn’t completely fix what is at its core a flawed hot hatch.

Renault Sport has not confirmed how many units are penned for production, but European sales will commence in the first half of this year.