RWD Renault Clio V6 Is The Weirdest Hot Hatch You’ll Ever See

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.

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  • ➡️ProtectOurHeritage⬅️

    Clio V6 was first manufactured in 2001. The MG Metro 6R4, a V6 Class B rally car, was first built in 1984.
    Now I wonder where Renault got their idea from?

    • Vassilis

      From the Renault 5 Turbo…

      • ➡️ProtectOurHeritage⬅️

        Which was a 1397cc turbocharged inline-4?

        • Vassilis

          You’re looking at it the wrong way. The point of the Clio isn’t that it’s a V6. It’s that it’s a mid-engined hatch. As was the R5 Turbo. What engine it uses doesn’t matter.

          • ➡️ProtectOurHeritage⬅️

            Right…

          • Mark Hawthorne

            You’re entirely correct.

    • Mark Hawthorne

      But the Metro 6R4 wasn’t a road car and not only was the R5 Turbo the first of the rear engined hatchbacks (itself a homologation special that became a real production road car) as Vassilis said but the 6R4 wasn’t anything more than a Clubman spec. road car (little interior, lights, number plates) to meet Group-B homologation. The Clio V6 was the spiritual successor to the R5 Turbo and Turbo2. The 6R4 was little more than a silhouette Metro clothing a bespoke rally-car.

  • Vassilis

    Awesome car!

  • Christian

    Not as wired as a Audi A7 or what BMW call a 5-Serie GT… Apparently they are Hatch¨s too…

    But i Mean, Ohhh Watcha’sayyyyy

  • Dude

    I’ve always liked this thing. French cars are so cool

  • FlameWater

    I remember how OP this car was in Gran Turismo 5

    • Carlos Gamarra

      and Gran Turismo 2

  • Don’t forget Williams had a hand developing this too, but contemporary report says this car is quite raw than the Phase 2 Clio V6.

  • Wandering_Spirit

    This
    Was
    A
    Ton
    of
    Fun

    Anyone so lucky to own one will confirm.

  • ThatGuy

    Epic lil monster this car.
    Make we want one right now.
    Darn i wish i had millions to feed my car addiction.

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