Renault Clio RenaultSport 200 Cup 23 | 08 | 2010Scotcars rating

    Clio gets the RenaultSport treatment; it'll shake your fillings out, but it's great fun


    The road from Glasgow to Aberdeen is much improved and it’s possible to cover the 150 miles legally in about three hours. But here’s a word of advice – don’t try it in a Clio RenaultSport 200 Cup. For a start you’ll spend all your time watching out for the herd of speed cameras between Dundee and the Granite City and you’ll feel frustration at holding back this lively wee beast. Then once you get there, you’ll be all a-jangle from the rock-hard suspension; and in the case of the test car, the £950 Recaro sport seats, which manacle you in place, do nothing to soften the impact coming up from the wheels.

    Having said that, this car is great fun for a burst of automotive action, without breaking the bank. Renault has a history of producing front-wheel-drive hot hatches over almost 40 years, starting with the 5 Gordini in 1976, pre-dating its rival, the Volkswagen Golf GTi by a year. The Clio RenaultSport 200 Cup is the latest in that tradition, stripping down the hatchback to its basics and devoting everything to performance and an exhilarating drive. The latest car has more than double the power of its distant 5 Gordini ancestor and with 200bhp and superb torque it’s a member of the exclusive 100 bhp per litre club.

    This is not a car for the faint-hearted

    On the road

    All of that relates to breathtaking performance, and the need to keep a close eye on the speedo and deftness with the right foot. The close ratio gearbox is a delight and in a blink of an eye you can be up to the legal limit, having zipped through the gears accompanied by a lovely rasp from the twin exhaust. The suspension is solid and about as close as you get to a competition setting in a road car, but it sticks the car to the bends like glue and creates a safe and secure feeling as you throw it round the corners.

    This is not a car for the faint-hearted, especially as the test car came in a stunning Alien Green paint job (£1225 option) coupled with satin black 17 inch alloys with bright red brake callipers. It is a stunning, look but don’t expect to keep a low profile when you’re behind the wheel.  

    Comfort & Safety

    Comfort is not the word which springs to mind after a session in this car. Everything is stripped out to save weight, so there’s no air con, the door mirrors are manually operated and there’s not even an outside temperature gauge. There is an onboard computer which showed my consumption ranging in the week I had the car; it ranged from 21mpg to 32mpg depending on how enthusiastically I worked the machinery. No matter how light I was on the right foot, I couldn’t achieve the stated combined consumption of more than 34 mpg.  

    Should I buy one?

    If you want a bit of fun on the road and don’t need to use it everyday, then it’ll give big returns.

    Alan Douglas

    Quick Stats
    Price OTR/As Tested £16,710 / £18,200
    Engine / Power: 1998cc / 200bhp
    How fast?: 0-60 mph 6.9secs, Max 141mph
    How big/heavy?: H1477mm  W2025mm L4017mm / 1204kg
    How thirsty/CO2?: Combined 34.4mpg / CO2 195g/km
    InsGP/Road tax: 30E / Band J, £215
    Alternatives: Skoda Fabia vRS; Vauxhall Corsa VXR; Mini John Cooper Works

    User Comments

    Login or register to post comments.
    Send to friend
    Click here to add message:

Car Review Finder