RE: Renaultsport Clio 182: PH Fleet

RE: Renaultsport Clio 182: PH Fleet

Friday 15th March

Renaultsport Clio 182: PH Fleet

Where better to test a new rear anti-roll bar than Donington Park? Maybe not when it's snowing, though...



Of all the parts fitted to hot Clios which are featured in the PH forums, a Whiteline rear anti-roll bar has to be one of the most popular. Many of us know first-hand how mobile 172/182s are in standard trim, but this Australian-made 'stabiliser bar' is said to tighten things up at the back sufficiently to boost agility with minimal impact on ride. As my car's been handling so sweetly on its Bilstein B14s, the ARB felt like a natural next step. Plus, who doesn't like the sound of a little more, ahem, lift-off playfulness?

To look at, the Whiteline part is a remarkably simple piece of kit. Its main parts are a shallow U-shaped bar and a couple of damper extensions, but you only have to see how the combined components are designed to hang tightly to the rear beam of Dieppe-built Mk2 Clios to understand the physics at work here: in a nutshell, the bar reduces roll at the rear of the car by linking the rear struts at their base. Tighten things up and it further reduces roll.


Since the 182 has become very composed with its B14s and nearly new Dunlop SportMaxx RTs, opting for the tighter of two available settings with the Whiteline bar (enabled by the two connecting bolt holes on either side) felt like the right thing to do. The feeling of confidence quickly faded on the morning of the following day, though, when snow started to fall and the temperature on the dash read zero degrees while en route to Donington Park for a Bookatrack circuit day. No kidding, there were four major car crashes over about 10 miles of the M1. And there was still one of Britain's most daunting circuits to come.

With only the morning's running available due to time constraints, it's wasn't like sitting out and waiting for the weather to improve was an option, either. So the engine was started up at 9:20am and, when the lights on the start/finish straight were green 10 minutes later, the Clio was the first to charge towards a sodden Redgate Corner. I say charge, the brakes were applied well in advance, what with the effects of our ARB not being known and the gravel trap off to the left not looking like a welcoming place for a hatchback in reverse.


It was slippery, obviously, but the rear didn't feel loose and unpredictable at all. Over the following laps it quickly became clear the rear anti-roll bar, even in its stiffer setting, wasn't going to turn the Clio into a short wheelbase widow-maker, but rather a more eager and direct prospect that felt right at home on Donington's fast layout. With the front wheels set at negative two degrees, there was some initial understeer to contend with - in the wet the lateral forces were never high enough for this setup to work - but as a dry line began to appear, the front end got sharper and sharper.

Come midday, the car felt wonderfully pointy. It rewarded trail braking or a closed throttle with lovely, progressive and very useful rotation at the rear - although admittedly it wasn't fool-proof; not when the slip angle got a little too great on the way into Craner Curves and the outside rear ran over water. Thankfully, the route across the grass didn't include any unsighted bumps or jumps; only a splattering of mud on the car's sides and a few strands of grass wedged into the ARB's lowest parts showed that I'd cocked up a bit.


That's the great thing about Donington, though. It's a circuit that rewards commitment thanks to its addictive, flowing layout. But get it wrong and you're punished. A proper, proper challenge. On this chilly day the Clio felt so dialled into the track, with the Ferodo DS2500 pads providing fantastic stopping power, the engine pulling sweetly and nothing overheating or catching fire during what must have been a solid hour of combined track time.

Best of all, my stint left me itching to get back to up to the circuit in the near future - which is handy because it's only three weeks until PH will be there for the opening 2019 EnduroKA round. Some might even say my visit to Donington with the Clio was motivated by the chance to get my eye in there ahead of the season... The Clio's next big challenge? An MOT certificate. If passed, perhaps it'll be treated to a front strut brace. More on that next time.


FACT SHEET
Car
: 2004 Renault Clio Renaultsport 182
Run by: Sam Sheehan
Bought: May 2011
Mileage at purchase: 74,457
Mileage now: 126,300
Last month at a glance: A new rear anti-roll bar renews the 182's appetite for apexes.

Previous reports:
A Clio joins the fleet
The wheel refurb
Back on track
PH Sporting Tour
A sort-of breakdown

Thanks to Bookatrack for having us along!

Track pictures credit: Matt Sayle Photography

 




Author
Discussion

PokiGTA

Original Poster:

65 posts

129 months

Friday 15th March
quotequote all
My old 172 had the same setup(much like a lot of Aussie Clio 2 RSs). B14s and whiteline sway bar. Was so direct. Add to that AD08s and its a go cart with a roof.

Miss that car

charltjr

3,529 posts

134 months

Friday 15th March
quotequote all
Told you it would be worthwhile smile

Glad you enjoyed it.

CarlosSainz100

48 posts

59 months

Friday 15th March
quotequote all
I'm 6ft 4 with very long legs and have always wanted a Clio 182. Is anybody out there as tall as me and fits in a Clio with no problems?

Love the car by the way!

LordHaveMurci

9,469 posts

108 months

Friday 15th March
quotequote all
Had one on my 172 Cup for several years, despite doing numerous hillclimbs & driving it 'enthusiastically' on road I can't say I really noticed the difference!

Mines on the lower setting, perhaps I need to ramp it up a notch?


Jon_S_Rally

223 posts

27 months

Friday 15th March
quotequote all
CarlosSainz100 said:
I'm 6ft 4 with very long legs and have always wanted a Clio 182. Is anybody out there as tall as me and fits in a Clio with no problems?

Love the car by the way!
I'm 6'3 and ran a 172 Cup for about four years. It was a daily for about 18 months of that. I never had any problem on the road. On track it would be nice if the seat was a bit lower, but I managed.
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StoatInACoat

1,164 posts

124 months

Friday 15th March
quotequote all
CarlosSainz100 said:
I'm 6ft 4 with very long legs and have always wanted a Clio 182. Is anybody out there as tall as me and fits in a Clio with no problems?

Love the car by the way!
I am the same height and had my 172 for years. Comfy seats help although t does take some adapting to! Long journeys in mine were difficult but it had a centre box chop and Eibach suspension which made it a bit course.

AmosMoses

3,147 posts

104 months

Friday 15th March
quotequote all
Is the car really than unstable under braking and corner entry? Hands are all over the place!

Scho

2,281 posts

142 months

Friday 15th March
quotequote all
You might try hitting the apex every now and then?!


Krikkit

14,472 posts

120 months

Friday 15th March
quotequote all
StoatInACoat said:
CarlosSainz100 said:
I'm 6ft 4 with very long legs and have always wanted a Clio 182. Is anybody out there as tall as me and fits in a Clio with no problems?

Love the car by the way!
I am the same height and had my 172 for years. Comfy seats help although t does take some adapting to! Long journeys in mine were difficult but it had a centre box chop and Eibach suspension which made it a bit course.
I'm not sure how you could get comfy, maybe it's just that you tall folk automatically tolerate it - I'm 5'10" and had to have the seat on its furthest setting to get comfy, even then the wheel was too bus-like for true comfort.

Worth it though as it drove absolutely fantastically.

LordHaveMurci

9,469 posts

108 months

Friday 15th March
quotequote all
Krikkit said:
I'm not sure how you could get comfy, maybe it's just that you tall folk automatically tolerate it - I'm 5'10" and had to have the seat on its furthest setting to get comfy, even then the wheel was too bus-like for true comfort.

Worth it though as it drove absolutely fantastically.
Horses for courses? I'm also 5'10" and my seat is nowhere near the furthest setting.

Comfy? Not really but I knew that when I bought it. If it bothered me I'd change the seat & therefore the driving position.

jameswsb

20 posts

59 months

Friday 15th March
quotequote all
For us lanky types I can wholeheartedly recommend removing the spacers from the bolts on the drivers seat. Lops a noticeable amount of the height of the seat. Well worth doing.

Dale487

914 posts

62 months

Friday 15th March
quotequote all
Jon_S_Rally said:
CarlosSainz100 said:
I'm 6ft 4 with very long legs and have always wanted a Clio 182. Is anybody out there as tall as me and fits in a Clio with no problems?

Love the car by the way!
I'm 6'3 and ran a 172 Cup for about four years. It was a daily for about 18 months of that. I never had any problem on the road. On track it would be nice if the seat was a bit lower, but I managed.
I had a non-RS Clio of the same generation & just over 6'2" - the driving positions is as good as you can get without reach adjustment on the wheel and agreed the seats could go lower.

If you expect Golf GTI MK7 levels of adjustment in the driving position, you'll disappointed but for its age, size & price point the Clio is great - I've done a 5 hour stint at the wheel of one, with no problems unlike my previous 106.

Kosy

63 posts

100 months

Friday 15th March
quotequote all
6'4" here too and absolutely no issues. Don't even have the seat all the way back for better reach on the wheel. I wouldn't want to sit behind me though!

drewos

55 posts

123 months

Friday 15th March
quotequote all
CarlosSainz100 said:
I'm 6ft 4 with very long legs and have always wanted a Clio 182. Is anybody out there as tall as me and fits in a Clio with no problems?

Love the car by the way!
I'm 6'4" and mine has been a daily for 6 years, Ideally it could do with a deeper dish steering wheel as it's a bit of a stretch but it's okay. I've replaced the seats with Sparco ones and they are a bit lower which helps a bit.

Heal & toe is a bit of a squeeze with my feet in the Clio's footwell so I tend to do big toe/little toe...

james_gt3rs

4,548 posts

130 months

Friday 15th March
quotequote all
AmosMoses said:
Is the car really than unstable under braking and corner entry? Hands are all over the place!
Looks pretty standard for a Clio driven fast, bit of rotation on entry means you can get on the power early.

Sam Sheehan

27 posts

76 months

Friday 15th March
quotequote all
charltjr said:
Told you it would be worthwhile smile

Glad you enjoyed it.
The advice is much appreciated - the ARB’s had nothing but positive effects on handling. Makes me surprised Dieppe never bothered with one in the first place!

Sam Sheehan

27 posts

76 months

Friday 15th March
quotequote all
Scho said:
You might try hitting the apex every now and then?!
The video doesn’t illustrate how greasy the surface was off that line. Using the wet kerbs just caused massive torque steer!

Sam Sheehan

27 posts

76 months

Friday 15th March
quotequote all
StoatInACoat said:
CarlosSainz100 said:
I'm 6ft 4 with very long legs and have always wanted a Clio 182. Is anybody out there as tall as me and fits in a Clio with no problems?

Love the car by the way!
I am the same height and had my 172 for years. Comfy seats help although t does take some adapting to! Long journeys in mine were difficult but it had a centre box chop and Eibach suspension which made it a bit course.
If I’m honest I wasn’t comfortable until I stuck the Recaro and racing wheel in. I’m 5ft11, but I only feel happy when I can get low and have my legs fairly stretched. It was well worth changing the seats for me - I honestly believe the chassis communicates better from this angle!

Zumbruk

4,957 posts

199 months

Saturday 16th March
quotequote all
I'd be interested to know how long that piece of angle holding it onto the lower shocker mount will last, given that it's having reciprocating loads applied across its axis, flexing it back and forth every time you go over a bump.

MachoManRandySavage

8 posts

27 months

Saturday 16th March
quotequote all
CarlosSainz100 said:
I'm 6ft 4 with very long legs and have always wanted a Clio 182. Is anybody out there as tall as me and fits in a Clio with no problems?

Love the car by the way!
I’m 6’3” but have short legs / long+ wide upper body. I have had a Clio 182 for 9 years and comfort has never been an issue - and there are quite a few cars I just can’t fit in.