6 October 2004

Stripped-out hot hatch fun has returned to the Renault range in the form of the Clio Renaultsport 182 Cup.

In response to customer demand, the successor to the 172 Cup gets air-con and anti-lock brakes, both omitted from its predecessor, although this reduces the weight saving to 20kg compared to the 80kg of its forebear. The philosophy of a cheaper, lighter hot hatch means a price tag of £13,800 – £900 under the standard 182’s – but the deletion of goodies such as xenon headlamps, lateral airbags, auto headlamps and wipers, split rear seats and heat-reflecting windscreen. But the Cup does benefit from the suspension and spoiler pack offered as a £395 option on the standard 182, which means a lower ride height and stiffer springs and dampers. Other changes include bespoke interior trim and revised steering geometry. Electronic stability control and cruise control are also standard fit, and buyers get a choice of two paint alternatives; the standard Racing Blue with optional £95 white stripes, and the new metallic Inferno orange for £325.

Although the 2.0-litre 182bhp engine is unfettled, the loss of 20kg has helped ease the Clio’s dash to 62mph to below seven seconds. It now stands at 6.9sec. The insurance grouping remains rated at 16. The UK is Renaultsport’s biggest market worldwide, and almost half of the Clio 172s sold here were the Cup version, a trend Renault expects to continue.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Dallara Stradale
    The Stradale is the first road-legel car from Italian motorsport constructor Dallara
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    The motorsport constructor's first road car is inspired by Lotus minimalism. Does it thrill on road and track?
  • Hyundai i30 N
    Standard spec is good so paint colour is our car’s only option
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    What’s Hyundai’s first hot hatch and N-brand debutant really like? Let’s find out
  • Porsche Boxster GTS
    This is the new GTS version of the Porsche Boxster
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The 718-generation Boxster is our favourite roadster of the moment – so is this new GTS variant worth the extra outlay?
  • BMW 5 Series
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The BMW 5 Series is top of the mid-exec pack, but is there still room for a diesel saloon in everyday family life?
  • Audi A7 front
    First Drive
    14 March 2018
    The new Audi A7 Sportback looks the part, but how does the new Mercedes-Benz CLS rival cope on UK roads? We find out