Based on a concept to be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March, the all-new supermini has been developed as an additional model range in the French company's line-up of small cars.
Due on sale by the end of the year, the five-door car is the same length as the Clio but uses 'tall' styling to provide a greater amount of interior space. Code-named J77, it has been designed as a stand-alone range to slot between the Clio and the Scenic – another concept that changed the face of family motoring.
A company spokesman said: 'We had planned to introduce the car at the Paris Motor Show, but interest in the sub-compact sector is so high in the UK that this could well be the first Renault to be launched at the Birmingham Motor Show.'
As 2004 versions of the Clio were being launched in Spain, the spokesman said the unnamed supermini would be positioned as an upmarket product.
'We are looking at an entry-level price of under £10,000, but the intention is to go head to head with rivals such as the Mercedes-Benz A-class and the Vauxhall Meriva. This is not a niche car – the styling is distinctive and we are expecting it to sell in significant numbers.'
Now available with more powerful petrol and turbodiesel engines, the Clio led the UK's retail supermini sector in three-door form with 44,500 registrations last year.