The Renault Sport Clio V6 Is A Hot Hatch With A Supercar Engine Layout

The Renault Sport Clio V6 is one of the cars that set new standards in hatchback capability and revived Renault’s reputation in the early 2000s with motorsport-inspired design and performance.

After its introduction, Renault finally brought the Clio V6 Renault Sport into production in 2001, which came on the market the same year. It was largely based on its sporty brother, the Clio V6 Trophy, with some parts inspired by the Renault 5 Turbo. Ultimately, the Clio V6 became a unique on-road hatchback with a sleek, sporty design and rear-wheel drive as standard. Apart from all its attributes, one thing that stood out in the sports car was the mid-engine arrangement, which paved the way for unique dynamic power, at the expense of the rear seats.

The Sport Clio V6 was produced in two phases with the first 230 hp engine produced from 2001 to 2002 and the second 255 hp engine from 2003 to 2005. Compared to the standard 5-seat Clio counterpart, the production of the Sport Clio V6 was limited, with only 2,822 units built. Thanks to its excellent performance, the status of the vehicle continued to grow for years, and after the termination of the Phase 2 line in 2005, the sporty Clio V6 almost slipped through the cracks.

We dive into the car’s design, powertrain and performance figures and discuss why the Clio V6 is an underrated hot hatch.

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Origin of the Sport Clio V6 Hot Hatch

The Sport Clio V6 legacy began with a sporty counterpart, the Clio V6 Trophy; a brand series competition car was introduced in 1998 and produced the following year. Replacing the Renaultsport Spider Trophy race car, the Clio V6 Trophy had incredible power coming from a strong 2.9-litre V6 engine.

Following on from the good performance figures of the Clio V6 Trophy, the brand ordered the development of a road version called the Sport Clio V6 from none other than the renowned TWR (Tom Walkinshaw Racing). This model debuted at the 1999 Paris Motor Show along with the Vel Satis concept. The TWR team knew that a road version of the V6 Trophy, with a mid-mounted engine, was possible, but would require extensive reconstruction. And in 2000, the Clio V6 was born.

The brand mainly introduced the Clio V6 to promote the second generation standard range, which was launched in the spring of 1998. In terms of dimensions, the Clio V6 was wider than the Trophy version, measuring 150.8 inches in length, 76.4 inches in width and one inches in height, with a 99.6-inch wheelbase.

How the mid-engine configuration changed the Sport Clio V6 line

While most of the features are inspired by a Clio V6 Trophy, the Sport Clio V6 Phase 1 model used a 3.0-liter ES9J4 V6 engine, derived from the Renault Laguna, which delivered 230 hp at 6000 rpm and 221 lb.-. ft at 3750 rpm. This power allowed the Sport Clio V6 to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in approximately 6.4 seconds and reach a top speed of 275 km/h.

This naturally aspirated V6 powertrain was installed in a fully customized rear structure, just behind the driver and passenger. Power went to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission. In order to accommodate the engine derived from the PSA Group in its mid-engine and rear-wheel drive, a heavy construction was required, for which the brand sacrificed the rear seat. The resulting Clio V6 was about 660 pounds heavier than the 172 Cup, the regular, high-performance sibling of the stock range. The new RWD also provided a new driving experience.

The Phase 1 model was produced until 2002, after which it was replaced in 2003 by the Clio V6 Phase 2. This model received a few styling updates on the inside and outside. As curb weight increased to 3,086 pounds, the wheelbase shrank by an inch, which in turn made the car slightly sluggish and reduced cabin space. To cope with the increased weight, the Clio V6 came with an extra 25 hp, making it the most powerful production hot hatch in the world at the time, surpassing that of the SEAT Len Cupra R and the Alfa Romeo 147 GTA. . This allowed the Clio V6 to complete a 100-mile sprint in 5.8 seconds and reach a top speed of 153 km/h.

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The Renault Sport Clio V6 is a valuable sports hatch today

You’d expect to pay an average of $52,787 for a Renault Sport Clio V6 hot hatch, with fewer garage queens surpassing the $120,000 price tag. If you’re lucky, you might find one for as little as 26,138 in both the domestic and international markets.

But like most limited edition cars from the 2000s era, these hatches are quite rare these days, so it will be hard to find one, especially in good condition. According to Classic, a site that tracks offers and sales of various classic cars on the internet, about 45 units of the Sport Clio V6 have been sold at retail in the past ten years. The few people who manage to get hold of one of these bad guys become so instantly attached to its powerful engine and captivating ride.

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