What is it?
Another fast Clio. Ever since the introduction of the original Clio Cup in 2002, Renault's range of hot superminis has been impressively various. It's not been enough to offer just one version of the fast-revving hatch; we've seen six of them since then, every one slightly differently endowed, kitted-out and set-up from the last.
This is the seventh, and the first limited-edition to be spun off the excellent Clio 197's mechanicals; meet the R27, or the Renaultsport Clio F1 Team R27, to give its full, and rather over-lengthy billing.
Essentially, it's a specced-up version of the 197 that will be made available in a limited run of 500 cars in the UK, and sold for £17,250. That sounds like a lot for a Clio, but bear in mind that the standard one comes in at £15,995, and this one has £1500-worth of optional kit thrown in, including tinted windows, painted brake callipers, the must-have Recaro bucket seats, 17in anthracite alloy wheels and, of course, Renault F1 Team decals.
What's it like?
Most important of all is what's underneath this Clio. It's got the same 197bhp 2.0-litre engine and six-speed manual gearbox as the standard car, but a lower, stiffer chassis set-up replaces the standard Clio 197's suspension. Springs are 27 per cent stiffer at the front, and 30 per cent stiffer at the rear, roll stiffness has been increased by 10 per cent at both ends, the suspension bump-stops have been overhauled, and the whole car rides 7mm closer to the tarmac.