Renault has built a name for itself as a manufacturer of great hot hatches and while the current Clio RS has drawn some criticism, mainly for its dual-clutch transmission, it is still a force to be reckoned with.
Previous iterations of the Clio were better received, and that gave the French automaker the confidence to go ahead and build something different.
What it did was turn the hot hatch recipe on its head: Renaultsport, who’s responsible for all hot versions of the brand, took the Clio Mk2, installed a V6 engine behind the front seats, and made it rear-wheel drive.
The Clio V6 stayed in production between 2001 and 2005 and, for the era, it was pretty fast, hitting 60 mph (96 km/h) in 6.2 seconds and a top speed of 146 mph (235 km/h).
This special Clio was powered by a 3.0-liter V6 engine that came straight from the top-range Laguna. It produces 230 PS (227 hp / 169 kW), or 10 PS (10 hp / 7 kW) more than the latest Clio RS 18, which is a few tenths of a second slower to 60 mph and has an identical top speed.
Thanks to its mid-engine arrangement, the Clio V6 is seen as the indirect successor of the Renault 5 Turbo and, along with the Peugeot 205 T16 homologation special, is the third-ever production supermini to adopt this layout – and the only one with a V6.
This example is hitting the auction block at SilverstoneAuctions on the 10th and 11th of November. It was made in 2002, has 50,172 miles (80,744 km) on the odo, and comes with the service book, invoices and original book pack.
The vendor says that it’s “in beautiful overall condition”, although the right-hand drive might be a drawback if you live in mainland Europe. Also, at £18,000-£22,000 ($23,267/€20,372-$28,438/€24,899, it’s not a steal either, as that’s about as much as a new Volkswagen Polo GTI or Ford Fiesta ST in the United Kingdom.
However, this is absolutely not your run-of-the-mill, take it to the grocery shop hot hatch, as a. it’s strictly a two seater and you’d have to be creative to put those groceries (the engine’s in the back, remember?), and b. its layout made it far from easy to drive. And the latter is a big part of its appeal, as you had to really work to get the best out of it.