The Mid-Engined Renault Clio V6 Is Still One Of The Maddest Hot Hatches
The Clio V6 is one of the most special performance cars ever created; to simply call it a hardcore hot hatch would be a huge understatement.
Renault has a tradition when it comes to rear-drive, mid-engined hatches and the Clio V6 was the last of the breed.
Imagine if a car maker in today’s market decided to take a small hatchback, throw its puny engine away and stuff a 3.0-liter V6 where the rear seats would normally sit; it would be insane to say the least. Yet, the French did, and the end result was amazing.
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In fact, it was so special, it managed to become a niche rival to benchmark sports cars like the Porsche 911, more so in its Phase 2 form, like the one Harry Metcalfe sampled.
Renault built just 1,309 examples of the Phase 2 Clio V6 all by hand at the same factory that today produces the lovely Alpine A110. The engine grew stronger in latter models, producing 255 HP to compensate for a slight weight gain.
0-62mph (100km/h) comes in 5.9 seconds while top speed sits at 153 mph (246 km/h). But the biggest highlight here is in the way it handles down a good piece of road; its predecessor was one of the most tricky cars to drive fast, thanks to its tendency to spin with the slightest provocation. Renault however managed to somehow harness the little beast in the revamped iteration, yet keep the edges sharp enough to keep the driver smiling.
It might not be the most straightforward answer to a 911 Carrera of the same vintage, but the Clio V6 was miles more special, even more so today.