Renaultsport Clio gets new gearbox, R27's chassis and an ice-cool paint job
27 September 2007

Renault is bringing us a new version of the Clio Cup, which along with sportier handling promises greater refinement.The new Cup is a version of the Renaultsport 197, but with the same chassis set-up as the limited-run 197 R27, and less kit.That means it has a 7mm lower ride height and stiffer springs and dampers. Those ought to make for even crisper handling, but it's the taller fifth and sixth gears we're most interested in.The standard 197 is a real headache on the motorway: its short gearing might make for swift acceleration, but it also makes for noisy, high-rev high-speed running. Fifth gear goes from 16.1mph per 1000rpm to 17.1mph, and sixth from 18.9 to 20.5. The standard 197 will get this revised gearbox later in the year.The new Cup will be available in white, for those who want to look as cool as possible. But those who want to stay cool will have to fork out, as air-con becomes an option.The Clio Cup goes on sale in the UK in two weeks, and though Renault UK still hasn't made up its mind about pricing, it should come in at a bargain £15,000. We reckon that makes it something of a performance bargain.

Our Verdict

Renault Clio

A multi-talented contender that can stand comparison with the best

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