RE: Renaultsport Clio V6 | Spotted

RE: Renaultsport Clio V6 | Spotted

Wednesday 7th August

Renaultsport Clio V6 | Spotted

Dieppe's 3.0-litre shopping car is as mad today as it was in the noughties - and a lot pricier, too



Dieppe is presently responsible for producing the Alpine A110 and RS Megane Trophy R, two of the world’s most interesting driver's cars. Through these two machines the factory has reinstated itself as an enthusiast Mecca - but those who remember its maddest products from years gone by might argue that its peak has been and gone. Think back to the eighties, when the bonkers 5 Turbo was born at the northern French site, or the nineties, when the Renault Spider rolled off the line. Dieppe was once better-known for flamboyance than seriousness.

More recently it was the Clio V6, originally built in conjunction with Tom Walkinshaw Racing. It first arrived in 2001, wearing a steroidal body kit to hide wider arches and bigger wheels, and was almost instantly labelled as a junior widowmaker thanks to its high speed instability. It was utterly silly, with a 3.0-litre V6 in place of the standard Clio’s rear bench, leaving a vacant space over its nose. That meant that corner entry understeer was almost a certainty, often followed by sudden and potentially-uncatchable oversteer. There was no special club for those who spun in a phase one V6 because pretty much everyone who attempted to go quickly in one did it. And don’t get us started on driving in the wet.


But it was a brilliant mark of Renaultsport’s madness. The Dieppe division didn’t need to create a mid-engined Clio, the standard car was selling very well indeed and the 172 provided an effective sporting injection to the line-up. Renault wasn’t required to build a homologation model as it had in the eighties with the Turbo 5, either, so the Clio V6 was born just because. It was sold through normal dealerships alongside normal Clios and could be bought for not much more than the similarly burly and more common Nissan 350Z. People from all walks of life could appreciate its uniqueness.

Admittedly, Renaultsport wound back some of the silliness in the phase two, which got the facelifted bits of the regular Clio alongside a raft of technical improvements. The engine’s power was upped from 230hp to 255hp, while the chassis was given a new rear subframe and trailing arms to extend the wheelbase by 23mm. The front track was also widened by 33mm and the springs and damping rates were adjusted to match, bringing the balance close to the middle of the car in order to dial out some of the first-gen V6’s murderous tendencies.


It worked, lending the phase two V6 Clio better performance and a more predictable chassis, all without hampering the car’s party piece: that gravelly V6 tone projected just over your left ear lobe. The car’s 1.3-tonne weight meant it was still nowhere near as chuckable as the new 182, nor was it as well-judged over bumpy surfaces. The steering remained a little too sluggish to encourage serious pedalling – probably deliberately to reduce the chances of going backwards again – but as an all-round driving experience, it was as muscular, effortless and as vocal as you like.

Some people would never be able to see past the car’s supermini origins, which were always in sight thanks to the Mk2 Clio’s dash and its oddly high seating position. But for those who could see the V6 for what it was, it looked to be a bit of a bargain at £26,995. Although just 354 were made (plus 258 phase ones), so the car remained a rare sight on the roads. These factors help explain the enormous prices attached to the V6 these days, with one 479-miler going on sale last year for £60k. Today’s Spotted is a comparable steal at £39,950 – roughly the same as what it cost new once inflation is taken into account. It has 4,307 miles on the clock and looks to be in fine condition inside and out. Given what’s happened in the last few years, might you even call this one a safe investment?


SPECIFICATION - RENAULTSPORT CLIO V6 255

Engine: 2,946cc V6
Transmission: Six-speed manual, rear-wheel-drive
Power (hp): 255@7,150rpm
Torque (lb ft): 221@4650rpm
CO2: 285g/km
MPG: 23
First registered: 2005
Recorded mileage: 4,307
Price new: £26,995
Yours for: £39,950

See the original advert here

Want one? Search for a Renault Clio V6 here

Author
Discussion

jhayward1980

Original Poster:

63 posts

158 months

Wednesday 7th August
quotequote all
What is with PH obsession with referring to car maufacurers by their location? "Dieppe is doing this and that", "Hethel's latest offering"....

Matt-il77s

295 posts

34 months

Wednesday 7th August
quotequote all
Harry's Garage just did a video on this which is a good watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9OD7ZvBuMg

p4cks

3,167 posts

143 months

Wednesday 7th August
quotequote all
Good write up. I’ve had mine for a couple of months now and whilst it’s not the quickest or best handling car in the world the sense of occasion every time you get in it is something else.

I know £40K might sound like strong money for an old Clio but in today’s market this one is an absolute bargain.

ucb

543 posts

156 months

Wednesday 7th August
quotequote all
The timing of this piece after the Harry's garage vid suggests advertorial work to me.
But I do love them so not complaining really

Bibbs

3,555 posts

154 months

Wednesday 7th August
quotequote all
jhayward1980 said:
What is with PH obsession with referring to car maufacurers by their location? "Dieppe is doing this and that", "Hethel's latest offering"....
Awful isn't it.

Nerdherder

1,202 posts

41 months

Wednesday 7th August
quotequote all
What a machine. Really overpriced for what it is and can do unfortunately. Last of the breed though as Renault has seemingly got sporty version (with the Renault Sports hatches) & mid engined (with Alpine) strategy well buttoned up.

I'll have an A110 please.

CS Garth

1,977 posts

49 months

Wednesday 7th August
quotequote all
Slow point to point, with an engine from the exec express line up, and handling more unpredictable than a French factory worker’s attendance record.

However utterly awesome. If this doesn’t stir your automotive blood pumping to your pecker then there is something not quite right

samoht

936 posts

90 months

Wednesday 7th August
quotequote all
"the chassis was given a new rear subframe and trailing arms" - IIRC, the original Clio V6 simply had the Laguna's front subframe and drivetrain, relocated to the rear with the steering locked out. Makes sense that designing a custom one would give better results cornering-wise.

MikeGoodwin

1,479 posts

61 months

Wednesday 7th August
quotequote all
Funny back in the day when the Clio 172/182 was about they were considered to be not much better than the 2 litre coupled with some odd handling traits.

And now we wear rose tinted glasses they are commanding this sort of money. I wouldn't have bought one when they were £15k never mind £20k or £40k


p4cks

3,167 posts

143 months

Wednesday 7th August
quotequote all
MikeGoodwin said:
And now we wear rose tinted glasses they are commanding this sort of money. I wouldn't have bought one when they were £15k never mind £20k or £40k

I think that maybe it's down to hindsight. If someone at the time said that there won't be another car like this built ever again then you'd have thought differently whereas warm hatches have been plentiful since then. These things are just bonkers.


cerb4.5lee

12,142 posts

124 months

Wednesday 7th August
quotequote all
I remember when I first saw one of these at the motor show and I found it really fascinating at the time(mainly because I always preferred cars with a bigger engine than only 2 litres).

In reality these are completely pointless(heavy/unpredictable/worse than the standard car), but they are so compelling and quirky and for that reason I really want one!

waftycranker

32 posts

4 months

Wednesday 7th August
quotequote all
Saw my first ever one of these on the road on Saturday. It was blue and not far from Hereford.

I’d love one of these.

Screechmr2

218 posts

48 months

Wednesday 7th August
quotequote all
I love how bonkers the car/idea is but I don't see how at almost £40k it's suggested as a safe investment. It's top end price already.

HTP99

14,646 posts

84 months

Wednesday 7th August
quotequote all
Fantastic cars and I'd have one in a heartbeat; I've sold and driven then so know what they are like, however the price of certain cars does seem to be getting a tad out of hand; £40k, will it go higher, will they be £50k in a few years time, then £60k, or will they and everything else suddenly drop to a more "realistic" level, where does it all stop!

Krikkit

15,702 posts

125 months

Wednesday 7th August
quotequote all
MikeGoodwin said:
Funny back in the day when the Clio 172/182 was about they were considered to be not much better than the 2 litre coupled with some odd handling traits.

And now we wear rose tinted glasses they are commanding this sort of money. I wouldn't have bought one when they were £15k never mind £20k or £40k

Rarity and madness are both key factors in appreciating cars like the V6 though.

As great as they are, the 1*2 were very common and not that bonkers. Great to drive of course.

sideways man

683 posts

81 months

Wednesday 7th August
quotequote all
A rumour at the time of production, was that Renault made these in reply to VW’s new Polo 3litre ....bluemotion
which used 3 litres of fuel for 100km laugh

FaNtheMaN26

28 posts

3 months

Wednesday 7th August
quotequote all
Love these and whenever I see them at a show always stop and give them a good look over

But, surely the performance should have been a bit better? Or were they dialing it down due to the fidgety handling...

Be good to hear what mods any owners do

Vaud

32,810 posts

99 months

Wednesday 7th August
quotequote all
Bibbs said:
jhayward1980 said:
What is with PH obsession with referring to car maufacurers by their location? "Dieppe is doing this and that", "Hethel's latest offering"....
Awful isn't it.
Plus technically RenaultSport HQ is at Les Ulis (including car development); Dieppe is just the factory. So for accuracy the offering is from Les Ulis?

/pedant mode off

moktabe

296 posts

49 months

Wednesday 7th August
quotequote all
sideways man said:
A rumour at the time of production, was that Renault made these in reply to VW’s new Polo 3litre ....bluemotion
which used 3 litres of fuel for 100km laugh
Close but no cigar.

It's the other way round. VW got wind of Renault doing a 3ltr Clio for the road so they turned their own out.....unfortunately they got the wrong end of the stick.

The Clio V6 was initially built for a one make race series in the 90's. Renault then decided to make a few wound down ones for the road, too much Pernod and Gauloises obviously cause French engineers to come up with some wayward ideas!

Had mine for just over 2yrs now and like my previous car, an E46 M3 CSL, they are great at polarising opinion. As with the CSL, most critics haven't even seen one let alone driven one. Some cars aren't bought for their speed, or maybe that should say the lack of it, they're bought for what they are....for the sheer madness of them maybe.

Provided they're not driven like a modern hatchback the handling is fine, if you ask for trouble then they'll deliver more than you can cope with. My Ph1 has been modified a little so the handling is now sublime....admittedly that's not a word you could apply to the oem model without smiling however, a little playing can change the nature of these beyond all recognition.



Edited by moktabe on Wednesday 7th August 10:11

thelostboy

3,405 posts

169 months

Wednesday 7th August
quotequote all
One of those "should have bought 10 years ago" cars. Bags of character, absolute mad car for Renault to launch... love them. Unfortunately the missus doesn't get why you'd want an old Clio with a bodykit...