RE: How Britain made the Clio 182 Trophy

RE: How Britain made the Clio 182 Trophy

Author
Discussion

aaron_2000

3,798 posts

37 months

Wednesday 11th March
quotequote all
MiseryStreak said:
markcoznottz said:
Let's be honest though, the 205 is the better drivers car, and more engaging. The Clio is as close to the 205, and the r5 turbo, as it could be within the legislative constraints at the time. No suprise it beat the m6 and gallardo, both being quite poorly resolved barges at that time.
The 205 had more feel-some steering, the non-PAS model I had did anyway. But it was sketchy as hell on the brakes, would kill you if you lifted off mid-corner, and wouldn't see which way a Trophy went on any track or B-road you care to mention. The 205 GTi was the best hot hatch of the 80s, but going between it and the Trophy, it felt like more than 2 decades of development. The suspension set-up of the Trophy was in a different league, you could completely take the piss, on a fresh set of Michelin PE2s the cornering speed you could carry was ludicrous. If you lifted off it just allowed the single rear contact patch to yaw around a bit more and tighten the line. It flattered imperfect driving. The 205 was possibly more engaging, because it took real skill and care to drive it fast, and you'd get out of it feeling like you'd had a brush with death - because you had usually. This made it less fun though, driving the Trophy was less scary, but faster everywhere and more fun. It's the most fun car I've ever driven.

Lots of people criticised it for not having an LSD. It didn't need one as a road car. The only time it understeered was in really tight slow corners on track, like at Bedford Autodrome. I took the DC2 ITR there, that I replaced the Trophy with, and noticed the difference powering out of tight corners, this was the ITR at its best. But on the road corners like that just aren't a feature (apart from the Stelvio pass perhaps). It hardly ever understeered, and didn't exhibit torque steer either like the Meganes and other contemporary forced induction cars did (because they actually had torque). The 205 had more torque steer than the Trophy. And the ITR had even less feelsome steering, despite being older. The brakes were more than good enough too, if you swapped the pads to Ferodo DS2500s, which most owners did.

I think on balance it just got everything right enough to be regarded as the perfect hot hatch.
My 205 had good modern rubber on, it did oversteer if you lifted off but nothing near as badly as people made out. I had a go in a mates 182 and I'd say it was probably better than the 205 in just about every way. Especially the gearshift, the 205 is a riot to drive and still absolutely stunning, but the Clio feels more planted, solid and obviously feels miles quicker. The 205 feels rawer and feels much more special to me. I'd probably still pick a 205 if it was a 1.9, but I think the Clio is the better car.

David87

5,562 posts

166 months

Wednesday 11th March
quotequote all
Roma101 said:
I’ve often wondered how feasible it would be for companies like Renault to do what the likes of Aston are doing with their continuations or modern versions of older cars etc. I am sure someone will come along and say it would not be possible for XYZ reasons. However, if they made a new batch of R26.Rs or the 182 Trophy, I would be the first in the queue and would be prepared to pay a reasonable amount for them. Not quite £72k though wink
Me too. I genuinely would pay good money for a brand new continuation 182 Trophy (or Williams, for that matter!). To some it would be crazy, but for me it makes perfect sense. hehe

BrotherMouzone

2,479 posts

128 months

Thursday 12th March
quotequote all
MiseryStreak said:


Great post. Love these two photos.

Back in 2011 I was looking at cars to replace my Corrado; I had a shortlist of three: Clio Trophy, Impreza RB5 and Integra DC2. Both Trophy and RB5 were more expensive than the DC2 and just a bit out of my budget, so I bought the DC2. Still have it now!

Tom Clarke

42 posts

114 months

Thursday 12th March
quotequote all
I've owned my Trophy for about three years now. It's my favourite car I've ever owned but is by no means perfect. Before it I'd had TVRs, XKRs, 911s, AMGs an M6 and so on. I bought a 182 as a run around while having some engine work done to my Mercedes, I intended to sell the Clio once the Mercedes was back on the road. I sold the Mercedes and kept the Clio. I foolishly let the Clio go and missed it almost instantly. Not long afterwards I bought the Trophy and I'll never sell it.

They are unreliable, they rattle and squeak, the fuel economy is surprisingly bad for a car which weighs so little, on a motorway the lack of a sixth gear is torturous, the quality of the interior materials is woeful, and if you're buying one with any of the above in mind you're missing the point entirely.

I was not long out of my 997 when I first got into a 182, the steering and brake feel of the Clio immediately put me in mind of the Porsche. As did the adjustability of the chassis when driven on the limit. The hilarity of the Clios willful tendancy towards lift off oversteer and cocking a rear wheel reminded me how fun a capable but imperfect chassis could be. They aren't razor sharp implements, and nor would I want them to be, they're forgiving and approachable, rather than spiting you for misjudging an entry speed they reward you with amusement, they're playful and can be driven beyond the limit with less risk than similarly quick cars. That presents you the opportunity to push on and become a better driver. For me, that's what they're all about.

To the Civic/Clio debate, the Honda was 17k when new, they should be a different league to the 13k Clio, so good on them if they are. They're rapid in a straight line, faster than a standard 182. In the corners the Clio drives away from them, despite their fancy double wishbone suspension. I own a lovely Honda S2K and the chassis I learned to drive spiritedly in was an EK Civic so I'm no Honda hating Renault fan boy. They're great, just not as competent as the Clio in the corners, much better made, nicer engine, different cup of tea entirely.

To dispel another myth, the Trophy is not head and shoulders above any other 182 in my humble opinion. The dampers are fractionally more compliant on the ragged edge, but only fractionally. The only Clio I've experienced which felt markedly different from the many 182s I've driven was a 172 Cup. It felt lighter, more nimble and precise.

Sadly 182s have gotten to that price point (or happily I suppose) where there are lots of neglected ones knocking about. If you drove a shabby one you'd be underwhelmed, as with most cars. Find a well sorted one and you'll likely be reminded why you fell in love with driving in the first place. For me discovering the joys of a 182 was the end of my quest for big horsepower and the begining of my appreciation for low weight, low cost, low risk B road and trackday fun. For a couple of grand you can go bother the lower echelon Ginettas' and Caterhams' around a track, then throw your spare wheels in the boot and drive home. Will you break down? Yes. Will you sit wondering where on earth they got this weird, horrible plastic from while you wait for the RAC truck? Probably. Will you have more fun for the same or less money anywhere else? Absolutely not!

They're terrible cars, and simultaneously the absolute best of cars (a bit like TVRs but wrong wheel drive). I'll never part with mine, or the Williams which recently joined it. Fortunately the wife has a Honda for when neither of the Clios work!

Edited to add: This photo of mine out and about today...

Edited by Tom Clarke on Thursday 12th March 03:27

Esceptico

2,643 posts

63 months

Thursday 12th March
quotequote all
Went to look at one when we lived in Switzerland. Was a bit scruffy. Would have been a replacement for my wife’s car but I didn’t have the nerve to suggest an older, manual Renault to replace her new Polo GTi with DCT.

Beno66

99 posts

149 months

Thursday 12th March
quotequote all
Titan2 said:
Now that's not a bad few cars to have sitting in your shed.

How do you rate the 172/182 compared to the William's?

I know there is a few years development between each of them but the William's is still I think seen as a sort of halo car from the 90's as well.

Possibly a step on from the likes of the 205 GTI no doubt as well.
The Williams is a great car no doubt but it is not as dynamic as the Clio Trophy.

The Trophy just has a little more pace, grip and control as you would expect of the newer car.

I also have a 205 GTi 1.6 & 1.9, dynamically the Clio Williams is a similar step up from the 205 as the Trophy is from the Williams.

They are all fantastic fun cars.

plenty

2,870 posts

140 months

Thursday 12th March
quotequote all
In 10 years when the tatty ones are dead the 172/182 (not just Trophy) will command serious money. Rather like the 205 GTi, 309 GTi, or 106 GTi/Rallye today.

Maldini35

2,404 posts

142 months

Thursday 12th March
quotequote all
I’ve not got a Trophy but have managed to acquire a couple of 172 Cups.
One for the road, one for the track.




I had a 1.6 Pug years ago which I loved but the Cup is a significant step up in terms of pace.
In terms of bang for buck they are hard to argue with.
I still find them a real giggle to drive too.
I took my road car to Le Mans last year and blown away by the attention it got. Obviously the locals loved it as a French hero but guys driving some really special cars (Lambo’s, GT3’s, Astons) stopped to chat about it.
Amazing really - especially for a car I bought on eBay for £1500.
I use it as my ‘station car’ and it never fails to cheer me up after a long day at work.
Vive la Clio!



big_joe

19 posts

28 months

Thursday 12th March
quotequote all
Titan2 said:
Always remember my brothers EK9 he got back in 2005.

First "performance" car I drove and always thought they were a great car after that.
Do you still have yours?

You will pay a pretty penny to buy a good one in Japan now unfortunately.
The EK9 is magical though quite hard work to drive with comically low torque. The way the engine makes power all the way to 9k is very addictive though, it's a very special engine in it's own right.

I don't have it any more as I decided it was a bit too modern for me, so built this with a K20 in it smile


Mac.

1,392 posts

183 months

Thursday 12th March
quotequote all
Had one for less than a year and didn't gel with it. It handled beautifully but I remember the brakes being grabby, the driving position awful and the steering wheel being at just the wrong angle. The Recaro seats looked the part but were set too high and were too narrow around the shoulders. It also felt underpowered (because I was also running a 360bhp Golf R at the time).

Loved the way it looked though, especially when clean.

Ended up exporting it back to the previous owner who moved back to Australia, KW05 FSG is now the only Oz based Trophy that I'm aware of...





GPH

154 posts

71 months

Thursday 12th March
quotequote all
Individuals have wildly different needs for a car hence why there are hundreds of different cars on sale at once but if you wanted fun to drive on UK roads that this car was designed for, the Press in 2005 were in no doubt what was best and why the 182 Trophy has become an icon.

The UK Marketing Director refused to spend any money promoting the car, as his bosses in France had chosen not to sell the car at all ( a bizarre decision that the MD of Renault France region regretted when the UK Press coverage got back to his bosses in Paris HQ), so it was down to PR to sell the car.

The Press launch started on UK roads with a drive across the South Downs to Folkstone then through the Tunnel to Dieppe for a tour of the production line at the RS Alpine factory then onto a great twisty little circuit at Pont L'Eveque near Deauville then drive back to the UK.
EVO were looking for "The thrill of driving" and it beat some much more expensive cars for that.



Martin_Hx

3,819 posts

152 months

Thursday 12th March
quotequote all
As a Civic Type - R (EP3) owner for 13 years, i have a lot of respect for little hot Clio's - I have never driven a hot Renault but all these glittering reviews cannot be wrong. I'm also pretty sure one would be very difficult to follow in the twisties biggrin

However i do love my engine and gearbox! driving

Water Fairy

3,138 posts

109 months

Thursday 12th March
quotequote all
Many moons ago my brother bought this model of Clio after splitting with his missus. It wasn't a Renaultsport version just a standard 1.2 I think. The thing is, even in such a basic model you could feel the inherent rightness of the chassis. I can only imagine what one of the Trophys is like.

I hope the driving position is better than my brothers though...................

Titan2

68 posts

50 months

Thursday 12th March
quotequote all
big_joe said:
Titan2 said:
Always remember my brothers EK9 he got back in 2005.

First "performance" car I drove and always thought they were a great car after that.
Do you still have yours?

You will pay a pretty penny to buy a good one in Japan now unfortunately.
The EK9 is magical though quite hard work to drive with comically low torque. The way the engine makes power all the way to 9k is very addictive though, it's a very special engine in it's own right.

I don't have it any more as I decided it was a bit too modern for me, so built this with a K20 in it smile

Totally agree,torque was basically non-existent below 5500rpm,the race car like characteristics was all about the top end.
Admittedly this can be very frustrating in some day to day driving but find a clean open road and all of that frustration goes 😁

That EG Civic looks very interesting,the sort of car to get you up and out of bed at the crack of dawn...😉
What would it weigh,900kg?

Jon_S_Rally

810 posts

42 months

Thursday 12th March
quotequote all
These are definitely an icon, though I always preferred the 172 Cup myself. It was a bit less "nice" in many ways, but it always seemed more special to me, with the low rent interior, thinner glass etc etc. It was a bit of a homologation type car and I liked that a lot. Really regret selling mine.

Surprised at the negative comments to be honest. My Cup would do over 40mpg if driven sensibly and, in over 30k miles, only required basic maintenance. Parts were very cheap too. The driving position wasn't perfect, but it was a riot otherwise. One of the best hot hatches around in my view, whatever model you have.

WCZ

7,638 posts

148 months

Thursday 12th March
quotequote all
I really like mine, the brakes are bad as standard and the steering wheel is too big but aside from that it's a lovely car which can pull a sickening amount of force through corners on track. It just feels so surefooted

the Fiesta st mk7 feels so much quicker and the steering is much more direct and the handling feels more sporty though


big_joe

19 posts

28 months

Thursday 12th March
quotequote all
Titan2 said:
Totally agree,torque was basically non-existent below 5500rpm,the race car like characteristics was all about the top end.
Admittedly this can be very frustrating in some day to day driving but find a clean open road and all of that frustration goes ??

That EG Civic looks very interesting,the sort of car to get you up and out of bed at the crack of dawn...??
What would it weigh,900kg?
The problem I found with the Trophy was that it didn't have the top end of a Honda (obviously) but it didn't have a load of torque either....it just felt a bit flat/uninspiring throughout to me. I would like to try one again, I didn't keep it very long and I feel like I must be missing something with the way everyone else goes on about them biggrin.

That's an EE Civic rather than an EG, the one before. Aye it's pretty awesome, around 900kg,230hp with shortened gears it's an absolute hoot. I had a B16B (EK9 engine) in it before the K20, and it was a lot quicker in this chassis than the EK9. More fun than the K in many ways!

Feirny

1,811 posts

101 months

Thursday 12th March
quotequote all
Serial owner here, and would own another when the time is right.

Also owned on alongside a Megane R26, and the Clio always got the nod when picking which to drive in a morning.


MyV10BarksAndBites

31 posts

3 months

Thursday 12th March
quotequote all
Patrick Bateman said:
is1 said:
The reviews at the time were a bit daft re it seeing off M6s and Gallardos.
That's likely because those cars are low slung, borrowed, expensive etc. whereas the evo car was bought by the magazine and could presumably be driven to the redline in every gear with no braking anywhere.
Have you ever watched any Evo videos or read the car of the year articles? I'm not buying it that they take it easy in expensive metal. It's not hard to believe the Trophy could excel against the likes of a Gallardo in a series of hairpin bends.
Its very hard to believe, when you have driven all the cars mentioned.... A Trophy might stand a chance for all 1.5 secs on the most twistiest, narrowest lane, with traffic.. (you wouldn't want to tell anyone that you stuffed your Gallardo racing a Clio)... But one lunge, in one gear leaves a Clio completely standing still... and that's just the M6... also bumps that will throw a Clio of line will go unnoticed in an M6.. It will be gone...

I now have a couple of V10's.. cloud9

Those articles did sucker me in at the time tho when i was younger and only had a Clio 1.2.. lt
Made the want levels raise to a fever pitch level...

David and goliath issue I beleive... Yeah tottally unrealistic... lol

Doesnt stop the little Trophy from being an absolute riot tho...

Patrick Bateman

11,117 posts

128 months

Thursday 12th March
quotequote all
What bumps will throw a Trophy 'off line' that wouldn't even affect an M6?

The Sachs dampers keep the car completely tied down across crap tarmac.