RE: Renaultsport Clio 182: PH Fleet

RE: Renaultsport Clio 182: PH Fleet

Friday 7th December

Renaultsport Clio 182: PH Fleet

The Clio did its best to keep up with the pace-setters at PH's first Sporting Tour



Through no fault of its own, the last time I climbed into the Clio its battery was too flat to turn the starter motor over. I had left it sitting in PH HQ’s car park, alone, neglected and gathering dust for four weeks. Course it wasn’t going to start. The flashing red light on the dash was all that signalled this 182 hadn’t completely given up. It took a push down the car park ramp to bring it burbling back to life.

This is the life of a car owned by a motoring journalist, and it’ll be a familiar scenario for one kept as an occasional weekend toy as well. But infrequent stints behind the wheel do, at least, make every drive feel special – and ignoring any minor gremlins becomes far, far easier. In the case of the 182, it’s meant that yours truly has spent the last few weeks reminiscing about its performance, rather than complaining about an intermittent blower fan issue that’s reared it’s annoying head just in time for misted windscreen season.


Those of you who attended the inaugural PH Sporting Tour in October may have noticed that, dodgy fan aside, the 182 was in full working order. The little Clio, miniscule compared to the sports and supercars in attendance, had no trouble squeezing down the tight country lanes of the event’s Suffolk route. Although the occasional section of broken tarmac did have me wincing as the Bilstein B14s – now a couple of thousand miles old – did their best to soak up the vertical pounding.

For much of the day, driving partner Jack and myself were following an absolutely lovely Elise S1 with a Honda K20 engine conversion. It. Was. Rapid. This red car looked fantastic, with a cheeky Type R badge beneath the Lotus logo on the tail to let you know this was no ordinary S1. As quick as the Clio felt, when the PHer ahead unleashed his Honda-powered Elise’s full potential, it just naffed off. To the extent that I wonder if it was boosted – please let us know in the comments if you have an answer.


The 182, by comparison, really needed winding up. I’m glad it did, mind, because the reward comes from 5,500rpm. But it meant that any time the Lotus ahead decided to bolt off without warning, we were left stirring the Clio’s gearstick back down a couple of cogs to keep up. Of course, if we knew the Lotus was about to get up and go, we could leave the Clio’s F4R motor turning over at 5,000rpm in anticipation. Do that, and it felt like a proper sports car, with every change up landing the engine back in the meat of its torque band.

The route offered just the right amount of technical and twisting corners to really show off the car’s darty front end, too. After an enthusiastic stint behind the wheel, Jack proclaimed that the Clio went around corners “a bit like a Caterham”. That’s quite the compliment, even for a car that’s just a whisker over a tonne in its current spec, but while I don’t deny the car felt as eager as ever, I suspect my co-driver’s opinion was slightly swayed by the fact that its owner was sat right beside him. The 182 certainly felt made for Suffolk’s meandering B-roads. It provided us with a few laugh-out-loud lift off oversteer moments for good measure.


But that was then. Now, as the cold weather has set in, I’ve been using the car less and less. It enjoyed a short jaunt outside with my old man’s Lotus Elan in the autumn sunshine, after which time I re-fitted a set of period boot badges (they're visible in a picture below). But largely, the car’s sat waiting for its next outing. It might not be for some time too, because while Mk2 Clios are generally well protected against corrosion, I don’t like using the car on salted roads. So after its great performance at PH’s Sporting Tour, I’ve rewarded the 182 with weeks of abandonment, and I genuinely feel bad about that. Maybe a rear anti-roll bar-shaped Christmas present will cheer it up. Actually, I suppose I should sort that blower fan first.


FACT SHEET

Car: 2004 Renault Clio Renaultsport 182
Run by: Sam Sheehan
Bought: May 2011
Mileage at purchase: 74,457
Mileage now: 125,906
Last month at a glance: Our time behind the wheel of the 182 may have been short these past few weeks, but it's been very, very sweet

Previous reports:
A Clio joins the fleet
The wheel refurb
Back on track





Author
Discussion

_Bandit_

Original Poster:

743 posts

131 months

Friday 7th December
quotequote all
I’m almost certain that S1 Honda Elise is Rob’s old car and it’s naturally aspirated. I have one too in n/a form and it’s quite brisk smile

TREMAiNE

2,809 posts

85 months

Friday 7th December
quotequote all
Lovely little car, always wanted to own one but never taken the plunge.

Norbury90

6,585 posts

142 months

Friday 7th December
quotequote all


Ooh, Sporting Tour Clio friend! thumbup

FestivAli

1,008 posts

174 months

Friday 7th December
quotequote all
I'm going to take umbrage with all this motoring journo "keeping engine spinning at 5000 revs" bull. In my old Mazda I tried this once, and revving it out to 6500 in 2nd gear had me doing 100kph, 62mph if you like, the highways speed limit. Ears bleeding and feeling like an utter dhead. In fact the only time I hold anything like that amount of revs, or even reach them, is on the freeway, in top, doing 100kph on my 300cc 20ish hp motorbike. I know Clios supposedly have short gearing but this cliche of whanging cars out to the limiter, on public roads is either exaggeration or you are going like 200 kph. I've done a few group drives (vehicle launches, brand experiences) and I appreciate sometimes one can um, let's say reach the speed limit and of course not exceed it at all in these sort of things, and great fun they are too testing performance in 6th at 2200 rpm on a twisty road, but unless you are blatantly speeding I feel its a trope that needs to end. Reading this site since 2004 at 17; am 32 now

FestivAli

1,008 posts

174 months

Friday 7th December
quotequote all
I'm going to take umbrage with all this motoring journo "keeping engine spinning at 5000 revs" bull. In my old Mazda I tried this once, and revving it out to 6500 in 2nd gear had me doing 100kph, 62mph if you like, the highways speed limit. Ears bleeding and feeling like an utter dhead. In fact the only time I hold anything like that amount of revs, or even reach them, is on the freeway, in top, doing 100kph on my 300cc 20ish hp motorbike. I know Clios supposedly have short gearing but this cliche of whanging cars out to the limiter, on public roads is either exaggeration or you are going like 200 kph. I've done a few group drives (vehicle launches, brand experiences) and I appreciate sometimes one can um, let's say reach the speed limit and of course not exceed it at all in these sort of things, and great fun they are too testing performance in 6th at 2200 rpm on a twisty road, but unless you are blatantly speeding I feel its a trope that needs to end. Reading this site since 2004 at 17; am 32 now
Advertisement

F4R

36 posts

1 month

Friday 7th December
quotequote all
FestivAli said:
I'm going to take umbrage with all this motoring journo "keeping engine spinning at 5000 revs" bull. In my old Mazda I tried this once, and revving it out to 6500 in 2nd gear had me doing 100kph, 62mph if you like, the highways speed limit. Ears bleeding and feeling like an utter dhead. In fact the only time I hold anything like that amount of revs, or even reach them, is on the freeway, in top, doing 100kph on my 300cc 20ish hp motorbike. I know Clios supposedly have short gearing but this cliche of whanging cars out to the limiter, on public roads is either exaggeration or you are going like 200 kph. I've done a few group drives (vehicle launches, brand experiences) and I appreciate sometimes one can um, let's say reach the speed limit and of course not exceed it at all in these sort of things, and great fun they are too testing performance in 6th at 2200 rpm on a twisty road, but unless you are blatantly speeding I feel its a trope that needs to end. Reading this site since 2004 at 17; am 32 now
Depends on the car. I own a Clio sport like the one in the article and if you want to get the best out of the car, it does make sense to leave it in a gear that achieves 5k rpm as there is a flat spot below that.

When I do this in mine (any gear except 1st, which is quite short) I still have 2500rpm left to play with, where it pulls very well to the red line. It's worth bearing in mind that this is a 5 speed car so the gears aren't ridiculously close ratio either.

Kosy

60 posts

97 months

Friday 7th December
quotequote all
A RStuner 98 octane remap will also assist with that. My 172 Cup pulls strongly from about 3500 now which makes it far more driveable in the real world. It also runs a lot smoother when the engine is cold.

F4R

36 posts

1 month

Friday 7th December
quotequote all
Kosy said:
A RStuner 98 octane remap will also assist with that. My 172 Cup pulls strongly from about 3500 now which makes it far more driveable in the real world. It also runs a lot smoother when the engine is cold.
Yep mine has the same map. It definitely pulls better in the mid range but there’s still a bit of a kick around 5000rpm to the 7500 limiter

spikyone

255 posts

36 months

Friday 7th December
quotequote all
F4R said:
Depends on the car. I own a Clio sport like the one in the article and if you want to get the best out of the car, it does make sense to leave it in a gear that achieves 5k rpm as there is a flat spot below that.

When I do this in mine (any gear except 1st, which is quite short) I still have 2500rpm left to play with, where it pulls very well to the red line. It's worth bearing in mind that this is a 5 speed car so the gears aren't ridiculously close ratio either.
I don't imagine anyone drives around (continuously) in 1st, so let's assume you're starting from a minimum of 2nd gear. Inevitaby, you're going to be dropping below 5k from time to time, because in a Clio 182 5k = c.45mph. You're already doing c.65mph when you shift to 3rd if you redline in 2nd. Run it to the redline again in 3rd and you're doing 90+.

You'd only get to use two gears and would likely spend most of your time in 2nd on a country road because the revs would be well below the mythical 5k in 3rd. I don't believe that anyone really drives like that on the road, and would be inclined to agree with FestivAli that in the vast majority of cars it's damn near impossible.

F4R

36 posts

1 month

Friday 7th December
quotequote all
spikyone said:
I don't imagine anyone drives around (continuously) in 1st, so let's assume you're starting from a minimum of 2nd gear. Inevitaby, you're going to be dropping below 5k from time to time, because in a Clio 182 5k = c.45mph. You're already doing c.65mph when you shift to 3rd if you redline in 2nd. Run it to the redline again in 3rd and you're doing 90+.

You'd only get to use two gears and would likely spend most of your time in 2nd on a country road because the revs would be well below the mythical 5k in 3rd. I don't believe that anyone really drives like that on the road, and would be inclined to agree with FestivAli that in the vast majority of cars it's damn near impossible.
Not necessarily, if you leave it in 3rd above 5000rpm and just use the band up to 6500rpm you can make better progress uphill and out of sweeping bends. Obviously you’d be breaking the speed limits on a B road though so this assumes track only.

spikyone

255 posts

36 months

Friday 7th December
quotequote all
F4R said:
spikyone said:
I don't imagine anyone drives around (continuously) in 1st, so let's assume you're starting from a minimum of 2nd gear. Inevitaby, you're going to be dropping below 5k from time to time, because in a Clio 182 5k = c.45mph. You're already doing c.65mph when you shift to 3rd if you redline in 2nd. Run it to the redline again in 3rd and you're doing 90+.

You'd only get to use two gears and would likely spend most of your time in 2nd on a country road because the revs would be well below the mythical 5k in 3rd. I don't believe that anyone really drives like that on the road, and would be inclined to agree with FestivAli that in the vast majority of cars it's damn near impossible.
Not necessarily, if you leave it in 3rd above 5000rpm and just use the band up to 6500rpm you can make better progress uphill and out of sweeping bends. Obviously you’d be breaking the speed limits on a B road though so this assumes track only.
rolleyes
I realise that qualifying it with "track only" is probably your means of not incriminating yourself or complying with some obscure rule that we shouldn't glamorise speeding, but even on a road you wouldn't be able to do that because few B-roads will allow you to keep it above 60 for prolonged periods.

horsemeatscandal

373 posts

40 months

Friday 7th December
quotequote all
My car only has 130-odd bhp, which is all found at 100rpm below the redline. Rev it out in 2nd and you’re doing 60, thus you have reached the speed limit on any decent road. Will be doing 80-odd in third. People say lower powered cars are better because you can use all the power. Well I’ll tell you right now I’m very rarely driving at 6900rpm and not for any significant length of time, makes a right racket for a kick off. Still good fun but mostly bullst when spoken about if I’m honest.

CABC

2,206 posts

37 months

Friday 7th December
quotequote all
FestivAli said:
I'm going to take umbrage with all this motoring journo "keeping engine spinning at 5000 revs" bull. In my old Mazda I tried this once, and revving it out to 6500 in 2nd gear had me doing 100kph, 62mph if you like, the highways speed limit. Ears bleeding and feeling like an utter dhead. In fact the only time I hold anything like that amount of revs, or even reach them, is on the freeway, in top, doing 100kph on my 300cc 20ish hp motorbike. I know Clios supposedly have short gearing but this cliche of whanging cars out to the limiter, on public roads is either exaggeration or you are going like 200 kph. I've done a few group drives (vehicle launches, brand experiences) and I appreciate sometimes one can um, let's say reach the speed limit and of course not exceed it at all in these sort of things, and great fun they are too testing performance in 6th at 2200 rpm on a twisty road, but unless you are blatantly speeding I feel its a trope that needs to end. Reading this site since 2004 at 17; am 32 now
if you're on a thrash in a GT86 it's best to keep it above 4.5k.
that's the joy of that car, if you don't use it you may as well have a turbo hatch.
of course you don't do that in normal driving, but to deny that occasional joy is wrong.

Mrq1979

1 posts

Friday 7th December
quotequote all
100% agree with Spikyone. The Clio is a lovely car to take round B roads but keeping it above 5k in anything above second and driving legally is a one or the other thing.

It's great keeping it in the power band in second to pull out of corners etc, but the truth is that in reality I've shifted up to third or fourth by the time I'm on a straight (and am well below 5k then) because keeping it that high up the rev range isn't practical unless you're proper yobbing it up and doing 80+ down the twisties. wink

If you are, of course, best of luck, just can't see anyone regularly doing that (keeping it over 5k) above third and keeping their licence if they get nicked biggrin

F4R

36 posts

1 month

Friday 7th December
quotequote all
You don’t need to get anywhere near 5k rpm in 3rd gear to make good progress on a B road. I pootle around in mine as the torque is good enough. If I was racing something quicker on track though I’d be trying to keep it above 5k rpm though.

edoverheels

58 posts

41 months

Friday 7th December
quotequote all
Edited

Edited by edoverheels on Friday 7th December 22:26

Zajda

131 posts

83 months

Friday 7th December
quotequote all
spikyone said:
but even on a road you wouldn't be able to do that because few B-roads will allow you to keep it above 60 for prolonged periods.
Or would you?smile
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EH47pi8lUa0

slipstream 1985

6,049 posts

115 months

Saturday 8th December
quotequote all
FestivAli said:
I'm going to take umbrage with all this motoring journo "keeping engine spinning at 5000 revs" bull. In my old Mazda I tried this once, and revving it out to 6500 in 2nd gear had me doing 100kph, 62mph if you like, the highways speed limit. Ears bleeding and feeling like an utter dhead. In fact the only time I hold anything like that amount of revs, or even reach them, is on the freeway, in top, doing 100kph on my 300cc 20ish hp motorbike. I know Clios supposedly have short gearing but this cliche of whanging cars out to the limiter, on public roads is either exaggeration or you are going like 200 kph. I've done a few group drives (vehicle launches, brand experiences) and I appreciate sometimes one can um, let's say reach the speed limit and of course not exceed it at all in these sort of things, and great fun they are too testing performance in 6th at 2200 rpm on a twisty road, but unless you are blatantly speeding I feel its a trope that needs to end. Reading this site since 2004 at 17; am 32 now
I bet you're real fun on a car run, and looking at your garage a motorbike run must be even more fun.

A buzzy hot hatch i've had and yes you need to keep them on song get a proper B road and you will likely be switching betweeen 2n and 3rd gear which would be enough but then get to a bit where the pace slows then you ove to a higher gear and there is still some oomph from 3.5k-5k