Renault have a history of creating fast Clios, with the original Clio 16Valve, Williams limited editions, the untamed mid-engined rear-wheel drive 3.0l V6 ones and more recently the Renault Sport versions. To add to this tally they’ve introduced this, the Clio RS Gordini.
The Clio RS Gordini’s exterior is finished in bright Malta Blue, it proudly shows off its racy alloys, large Brembo brakes and racing stripes. This theme has been carried over to the interior which boasts racing sports seats and contrasting blue and black leather upholstery. Whilst the seats certainly look the part, I couldn’t lower the driver’s seat sufficiently to achieve the optimum driving position. It’s equipped with all the usual creature comforts such as climate control, cruise control and Bluetooth connectivity.
By far the best strength of this car is its remarkable chassis, the Renault Sport engineers who’ve designed and built this car also build the Clio Cup race car versions, which compete across Europe. The upshot of this is that the road car handles like no other, in terms of chassis control and stability. You really need to take the Clio RS Gordini on track to explore its true potential, that’s exactly what I did. Its 2.0l engine pushes out 200hp, with just 215Nm of torque you need to rev it to get the most from it. Once the engine reaches 4,000 rpm the Clio comes alive and revs freely up to the redline at 8,000rpm. The cornering speed on track is impressive, thanks to its stiff chassis there’s tons of front-end grip with no under-steer present.
Thankfully Renault has stayed true to form with its latest beefed-up version of the Clio. The Gordini name has a long-standing tradition with Renault fans worldwide and this Clio RS can proudly wear the iconic Gordini badge with pride.[table “46” not found /]
* Renault Ireland don’t have the list price as this car is not part of their product range.