Wolseley’s Hot New Cleo Rs!

It sounds like “Clio” and shares every dimension with the Clio but Wolseley’s new small car contender is a design triumph, says Wolseley’s chief of design.

2019 Wolseley Cleo vRs: source

The resemblance is there right down to the very fact the Cleo vRS has a Wolseley badge perched on a diamond-shaped plinth on the car’s front grille. A similar diamond-recess on the rear boot holds the famed “W” symbol too. So, yes, it looks a bit like a Renault Clio. How shall we understand the design? “With this virtually unique car we have redefined the meaning of sporty practicality,” says Wolseley’s design chief Cristo Palumbo-Colombo. “It’s practical and sporty in a completely new way.  It’s not compromised at all.”

Later he said “Every line is accurately placed and provokes in the viewer a sense of awed humility. Or an indefinable sense of joi de vivre – that is about the happiness of living, about satisfaction with one’s existence because every aspect of one’s life is so lovely. The Cleo’s stance is creative, surprising and original. The proportions can

2019 Wolseley Cleo vRs: source

be called nothing but impressive, demonstrative of utmost excellence. The surfaces are the best surfaces ever presented in this class of car as well. With the wheel arches we have take a quantum stepchange onwards with their extreme realism. Nobody’s wheel arches are as realistic as these. They are not so much realistic as actual. It’s a game-changer in the class.

There are four arches: two on each side. The front end and tail graphics are the purest impressionism, inspired by Monet with a touch of Pointilism around the flanges. For the roof surface we’ve worked to give it genuine smooth curvature that brings the viewer to a sublime realisation of its roofiness. Defined. By its relation to the front windscreen, side glass, pillars and rear screen, itself a masterpiece of powerful expressiveness. The lamps as well. They are ultimate, very ultimate.”

The Cleo will be available with a 1.0 litre L4 65 bhp petrol engine, and nine diesels from 1.3 litres to 2.3 litres. All have a manual or automatic transmission, rear wheel drive and leaf springs at the rear and double-wishbones at the front. All models over 1.6 litres will have discs all around.


Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

7 thoughts on “Wolseley’s Hot New Cleo Rs!”

    1. Wolseley have pulled out all the stops on this one. It is so precise. I like their approach to uncompromised design. BMW and Rover had better watch out.

    2. Funnily enough these are the new style of Photoshop renderings. There´s a new function called “seller´s photograph” which puts a grey cast on the image and adds foreground. It essentially makes any image like an iPhone 6 image.

  1. An utterly brilliant and ground-breaking design. Mr Palumbo-Columbo is to be congratulated for his visionary wisdom and tremendous courage in leading automotive design forward to a new pinnacle of excellence. What a shame the great unwashed masses do not have the design literacy to distinguish it from tedious mainstream hatchbacks like, for example, the Renault Clio.

    1. Mr Colombo-Palumbo will be happy to hear your praise. Indeed, it makes the Clio look tired and old which it was already and now even more so. What I like about it is the way it is so emotional, kinetic and New Flame with a touch of passion and what seems to be verisimilitude. You should see the saloon version though.

    2. Yes Daniel and at least Wolseley didn’t fall for all this “dreamy” official pictures malarkey so many others have fallen for, I’ll give them that. No artsy lens flare or fancy Barcelona museums for them thank you very much.
      Just stunning, classy, yet candid shots of the car on a bed of Sicilian gravel backed by a minimalist bare wall as in picture 1. Very Terry Richardson.

  2. I admire the ‘door-forward’ (or is it cab-backward?) look of the 3-door, whereby the styling deceives the eye to thinking the door’s front gap is smaller than the rear. Lesser designers move the door with the cabin. Also the fact that Mr Palumbo-Colombo has mischievously toyed with our expectations on panel alignment where the door meets the rear ¾ panel. It’s the details that make a design great.

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