Sometimes car companies go a bit mad, and produce models that somehow slipped past the accountants. Renault had a couple of superbly bonkers creations in the late 1990s – first the Espace F1 concept, followed by another ludicrous car/engine combination a few years later. No-one expected a V6-powered Clio with swollen wheel arches and functional side air intakes. A V6 wouldn’t fit under the bonnet, surely?
It didn’t fit under the bonnet. The 3.0-litre engine sat pride of place behind the front seats, right in the middle of the car. This Clio was now a strict two-seater. The engine came from the most expensive Laguna of the time, and produced an astounding 227hp. If you’re thinking that doesn’t sound like much, consider that the outgoing Clio RS has 220hp. The car’s light weight means that this Clio V6 Phase 1 goes from 0-62mph in just 6.2 seconds, and onto a top speed of 146mph. No wonder motoring magazines called it the world’s smallest supercar.
But it wasn’t just the flat-out speed that reminded road testers of expensive Italian metal. The Clio V6 had a reputation for biting back, and diving backwards for the nearest hedgerow before you’d had a chance to breathe. These cars weren’t for the faint-hearted, especially as that power went only to the rear wheels.
If that’s not put you off, you’ll soon get the chance to buy one of these limited-run future classics. Silverstone Auctions will put this under the hammer on Saturday 10th November 2018, where it’s estimated to sell for somewhere between £18,000 and £22,000. There’s a whole heap of invoices and full main dealer service history, plus a MOT until October 2019.
Inside, the interior is a lovely mix of leather and sporty suede, with blue carpets to finish it off. The car – number 470 of only 1,513 ever built – has covered just 50,172 miles in the 16 years since new. If you’d like this car, see what your friends think – you can share this article using the icons at the top of the page.