Le Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing - 15th August, 2016

I reckon you won’t get more fun, driving pleasure and thrilling performance for less money than this 2001 Renault Sport Clio 172. It may look like Nana’s shopping basket on the outside but under the unassuming skin is one of the all-time greatest French hot hatches. This one is being auctioned at Turners Christchurch on Thursday.

It’s not like the French don’t have form when it comes to hot hatchbacks – heck, they came up with the Peugeot 205GTi and insane Renault 5 Turbo – so it should come as no surprise that the Clio RS is so good. What is a surprise is they don’t get the attention they deserve in NZ and that means they can sometimes be picked up for a song. There are faster and better built hot hatches from the same era but the Clio RS does the best all-round job. It has a fantastic 172hp engine that revs hard and gives the lightweight Clio a good turn of speed. It steers and handles brilliantly but at the same time has a firm but smooth ride. Much of the competition is just too hardcore to live with as a daily driver whereas the little Clio is as happy on the daily commute as it is on a winding country road or a race track.

This Clio RS is a phase 1 from 2001. It has done a few kilometres but not that many for its 15 years on the road. It’s got a clean mechanical report and looks in decent shape. And the auction estimate is just $2500 - $3500. Like I said, you won’t go faster or have more fun for less and it’s a dead set future classic. More details here.

Watch this great advert for the Clio RS and Richard Hammond’s Top Gear review.

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