SOTW: Renault Clio Renaultsport

It's pretty fair to say that, with the arguable exception of the first V6 version and the nasty RSi warm hatch from the mid-90s, Renault has failed to make a bad fast Clio.

We reckon today's SOTW is no exception. Early Renault Clio Renaultsports like this one might be saddled with unfortunate goggle-eyed looks, and they perhaps aren't as revered as some of the later, more hardcore Clios that share the same basic bodyshell, but the old turn-of-the-noughties Regie still has a fair turn of pace and will cock an inside rear wheel with the best of 'em.

That pace comes from a 2.0-litre 16-valve motor shared with more mainstream siblings such as the Laguna and Espace. The engine received a bit of a fiddle from engineering firm (and Erstwhile Renault F1 engine partners) Mecachrome, however, to produce a healthy 167bhp.

That was enough for the Clio Renaultsport to knock on the door of 140mph and to sprint from 0-62mph in a convincingly rapid 7.3secs.

But what makes this particular car so astonishing is that it really ought not to have dipped into Shed territory at all - its £1k asking seems to be at least £500 or so cheaper than its fast Clio peers.

Ordinarily, this would make us deeply sceptical - cars that seem too cheap to be true often are - but this Clio shows every sign of being a thoroughly straight car. The advert has an honest-sounding straightforwardness to it, there's plenty of history to go along with the car, it hasn't been chavved-around with and the vendor appears to have carried out plenty of maintenance.

The only black marks we can see are the suspicious whine the seller mentions, the fact that it's been stood around for a few months and the issue that, once you add tax, it's going to bust Shed's notional £1k budget.

Still, we reckon that a spot of friendly haggling should leave you plenty of room to pop on six months of VED on the little Renault within the £1k rule, maybe with a few bob to spare.

And with an MOT that runs until the end of June, that would leave you with a good six months of hot hatch happiness. Tempted? We would be, if Durham (where the car is) wasn't so darn far away from PHHQ...

Advert is reproduced below

2000 renault clio sport 172 (2000)
110,000 miles £1,000

x reg 172 clio sport
standard apart from upgrade air filter and exhaust is stainless steel.
moted till 28th june
no tax been stood 4 months
110k with full service history
just had head rebuilt fully at great expense
new alternator belt
2nd hand alternator
new water pump
fully serviced when head done.
very qick car when needed
full electrics
air con
fuel computer

i bought the car 4 months ago with a snapped timing belt.
x16 new valves
x16 valve oil seals
full head gasket set
new head bolts
new timing belt
oil and filter
anti freeze
water pump
alternater belt
2nd hand alternater.

the car has been done 2 months now and has not covered many miles since
due to not having the time to use it.

bad points
body has a few marks (minor)
slight whine on engine/ transmission
only very slight.

car drives and goes as it should and have been using it a it is with out any problems
just trying to be up front noise might be nothing.

no phone calls after 10pm please

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Comments (203) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Goodfella 555 07 Jan 2011

    Top shedding - slight whining uh oh... eek

  • petrolsniffer 07 Jan 2011

    Would make a nice cheap track toy smile

    Top shed

  • gforceg 07 Jan 2011

    Hmmm, all that engine work but he didn't bother chasing down the engine/transmission whine.

  • ninos 07 Jan 2011

    Nice find, great little hot hatch, just a shame its French and will almost certainly be suffering or will suffer from dodgy electricals. Good for 6 months hooning or track car though then move it on

  • MagicalTrevor 07 Jan 2011

    Bought one a few months ago, albeit a 'looked after' example and it's superb. Shouldn't be too long until I take it to the track smile

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