One of the most impressive cars in the Renault stable – the Clio – is getting a revamp in advance of an Irish launch in the autumn. The model line-up will also feature a petrol hybrid for the first time.

Renault is promising a "totally refreshed exterior styling" for the new Clio (LED headlights will be standard across the range), combined with a fully revised  with interior design.

The car will be some 50kg lighter, yet will be stronger and safer than its predecessor, the company says. It also says the new Clio will have more interior and boot space, while also having more compact exterior dimensions.

The entry-level petrol engine is the three-cylinder  1.0  unit with a choice of two outputs, starting with 75 horse power.  A  1.0 litre petrol turbocharged engine will also be featured in the line-up.

The entry-level diesel will be a revised version of the current 1.5 Renault engine, with an 85 horse power ouput.

A  full-hybrid drive train known as E-TECH will also be introduced.  The E-TECH drivetrain was developed and patented by Renault engineering and uses a new-generation 1.6 litre petrol engine that's mated to a  multi-mode gearbox and two electric motors that are powered by a 1.2 kWh lithium ion battery.

 It’s claimed that the system - combined with the high recharging capacity of the batteries - makes it "possible to drive around town and at low speeds in all-electric mode for around 80 percent of the time and leads to up to 40 percent improvement in fuel consumption compared with a conventional internal-combustion petrol engine during the urban cycle".