Renault Clio V6 in detail
Today, when car enthusiasts think "hot hatch," we think of a small engine in the front along with the "go" sent to the front wheels, sometimes to all of the wheels.
Back in 2001, Renault flipped that script and produced the Renault Clio V6 Sport.
Not only was the Clio V6 Sport powered by a V6 engine, as its name suggests, but the engine was uniquely rear mid-engine mounted and tied to a manual 6-speed transmission.
The V6 engine was a 3.0-liter power plant good for 247 brake horsepower.
The Clio V6 Sport also put its power down through its rear wheels.
The change from front engine, front-wheel-drive to mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive forced significant weight on the car.
The added weight was clearly made up with the sound of having a V6 engine roaring directly behind you while you drive.
Can you own one in the United States?
Why yes you can, but only one.
The history behind it
Right now there is a 2003 Clio V6 Sport Phase 1 for sale for $69,000 in Miami, Fla.
Phase 1 may sound like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it mainly describes who built the cars.
There were two phases of the Clio V6.
Phase 1 models were built by Tom Walkinshaw Racing and Phase 2 models were built by Renault Sport.
This model available for purchase is painted in silver with a blue interior with 18,000 kilometers (about 11,185 miles) on the clock.
According to the listing, the car was legally imported around 2010 and registered in La Habra, Calif.
From there, it was hidden away in a private collection until it made its way to the current seller.
The car has been serviced with new coils, spark plugs, fresh fluids, and an AC service.
It is currently wrapped in new Michelin Pilot Sport rubber and is equipped with aftermarket coilovers to help the rough ride.
The car has a clean Florida title, no surprises there.
You seem to be able to register anything in Florida.
Someone go buy this thing and live your rally car dreams.
The Renault Clio V6 Renault Sport is a rear mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive layoutsport compactbased on the Renault Clio launched in 2001.
Designed by French automaker Renault the Phase 1 models were built by Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) in Uddevalla, Sweden and Phase 2 were designed and hand built by Renault Sport in Dieppe, France.
The mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive Renault Clio V6 is one of a kind.
Both variants were developed by TWR.
The mid-engined, wide-body concept of the Clio V6 was very reminiscent of the 1980s Renault 5 Turbo. Both road going models were low volume production making them very rare cars.
The people behind the project
Alongside the road car, a circuit only version was produced, known as the Clio V6 Trophy.
This was a full competition car, with sequential Sadev gearbox, full roll cage, magnesium wheels and engine output upped to 285 PS (210 kW; 281 bhp).
The Investment perspective
The Trophy is a competition car built in Renaultsports' Dieppe facility.
Built as a single make series competition car to promote the new Clio 2 range, the Clio V6 Trophy series replaced the Renaultsport Spider Trophy, which finished in 1998.
Clio V6 Phase 2 (2003–2005)
Starting with the shell of a front wheel drive standard Clio, the cars were completely reworked to house a 3–litre V6 engine (derived from the PSA group engine used in the Renault Laguna).The race cars inspired the construction of a road going car, which resulted in the Clio V6 released in 2001.
Whilst it bears a striking resemblance to the road cars, it was completely different, only sharing very minor body parts.
Renault Clio Sport V6 24V '00
There were 159 cars built between 1999 and 2003.
Renault Clio V6 Phase 1. The Clio V6 was based on the Clio Mk II, though it shares very few parts with that car.
The 3.0 60° V6 ES9 engine, sourced from the PSA group was upgraded to around 230 PS (169 kW; 227 bhp) and placed in the middle of the vehicle where standard Clios have rear seats – making this car a two-seater hot hatch.
In order to accommodate the radical change from front-engine, front-wheel drive hatchback to mid-engine, rear-wheel drive two-seater quasi-coupé, the car had to be extensively reworked structurally, leading to the Phase 1 version being some 300 kg (660 lb) heavier than the sportiest "regular" Clio, the 172 Cup.
The driving experience
Due to this, even though the V6 model had significantly more power, it was not remarkably faster in a straight line accelerating to legal road speeds than the 172 Cup – accelerating to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 6.2 seconds compared to the Cup's 6.7 seconds – though its maximum speed was significantly higher, 146 mph (235 km/h) compared to 138 mph (222 km/h).
The raw sound and weight of the V6 engine just behind the driver and RWD made the driving experience very different from the normal front engined front wheel drive car.
What’s the big deal with the Clio V6?
There were 1,555 production cars built in total between 2001 and 2002.
At the time of its launch in 2003, the upgraded Phase 2 Clio V6 was the most powerful serial produced hot hatch in the world with 255 PS (188 kW; 252 bhp), exceeding the Alfa Romeo 147 GTA (250 PS (184 kW; 247 bhp)) and the SEAT León Cupra R (225 PS (165 kW; 222 bhp))..
Renault Clio V6 rear view (Phase 2).
Not without drawbacks
Though based on a utilitarian hatchback, the Clio V6 is not a practical family car.
With an average fuel consumption of 24 miles per imperial gallon (12 L/100 km; 20 mpg‑US), this resulted in an empty fuel tank in just over 300 miles (480 km).
Should you get one?
The loss of the back seats and most of the boot space, due to the engine placement, results in a severe restriction in luggage space – there is only a small space in the front where the engine used to be, suitable for a holdall or week-end groceries, a small netted area behind the seats plus a small stash area under the tailgate.
The enhanced steering makes tight manoeuvring a little challenging, the turning circle is 13 m (42.7 ft) – around three car lengths – turning what might normally be a three-point turn into a five-point turn.
The Clio V6 Phase 2 gained even more weight, but offset it with an additional 25 horsepower.
This resulted in a reduced 0–60 mph (97 km/h) run at 5.9 seconds and a top speed of 153 mph (246 km/h).
Clio V6 Trophy (1999–2003)
Standard equipment includes rain sensing windscreen wipers, automatic headlights, air conditioning, and six speakers and CD changer.
The Phase 2 Clio V6 retailed for £27,125 in the United Kingdom, until it was withdrawn from sale in 2005 coinciding with a facelift for the Clio range.
Clio V6 Phase 1 (2001–2003)
The long-term reviews in Evo magazine were enthusiastic, claiming "It's a modern classic" for the Phase 2 version.Jeremy Clarkson once referred to the Clio V6 as one of his top 10 cars..
There were 1,309 production cars built in total between 2003 and 2005.
^"Renault Clio V6 (01-05)".
^"Renault Clio V6".
The Sunday Times.