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Renault Clio Renaultsport 182
road test


"Anything you can do, I can do!"


The aging process, something we all endure, has one great advantage. It makes it easy and, hopefully, an enjoyable experience to remember the good old days. Of course, those good old days will be a different time for different people.

When I look back to the mid-to-late 60s, I remember Renault presenting the 8 Gordini to the world. Back in those days, high performance was associated with twin carburettors and a stripe. The stripe was often called a racing stripe. It made the car go faster .... we all know that! Some cars even had the luxury of 'rally seats'. Perhaps this is a light-hearted reflection of the sporty cars from the good old days, but it isn't far from the truth. The mid-to-late 1960s, for example, saw such marvels as the Morris Mini Cooper S, Ford Falcon GT and the Holden Monaro GTS 327, amongst others.

During the 60s, the French were being treated to the delights of a sporty Renault and what I remember most about the 8 Gordini was the colour. To emphasise the new car, Renault chose to colour it an attractive shade of blue, a colour which I knew as French Blue. And this colour was to be used by Renault to distinquish the sporty cars in their model line-up. French Blue is a worthy colour choice for rally winners such as the Renault 8 Gordini. But the colour faded from colour charts after a short period (no pun intended!). But in a top marketing move, the colour has been returned to the showrooms, although it is now known as Racing Blue. And the colour returns in dramatic fashion. Fashion recognises that Racing Blue is THE colour for those who remember the success of Renault in numerous European rallies from the aforementioned good old days. And the drama comes in the shape of the tiny Clio which is hotted up, so to speak, and turned into the Clio Renaultsport 182. Wearing the colour of Racing Blue implies it's a winner! So let's look at the credentials presented in this package.

Power is supplied by a naturally aspirated 1,998 cc 4 cylinder engine, which drives the front wheels through a 5 speed manual gearbox. Maximum power is 131 kW at 6,500 rpm. The car weighs in at just over 1 tonne. On this basis, you may expect the car to perform well. Let me assure you it does exactly that! This car isn't short of power, in fact, I suspect it may be overpowered! Despite being behind the wheel for 966 kms, there was at no time any desire for more power .... ever! But a few times I did back off a little. Make no mistake, the Renaultsport 182 is a performance car and as such it is suitable only for experienced drivers who have a high degree of respect for power. Having said that, please be assured the Clio is quite an easy car to drive. Its behavior pattern is predictable and delightful. And it comes with all the power you will ever need for spirited and rewarding driving.


Renault Clio Renaultsport 182 
at Brooklyn NSW
Renault Clio Renaultsport 182
Location: Ash Island NSW

What gives away the Renaultsport 182?
.... the colour and the twin exhaust!

To see more images, click here.


Renault Clio Renaultsport 182 
at Ash Island NSW
Renault Clio Renaultsport 182
Location: Ash Island NSW

Click the image for a larger view

To see more images, click here.

The Clio Renaultsport 182 comes well equipped, just as you expect on a modern performance car. The recommended retail price is, currently, from $32,990 (plus the traditional add-ons). In my view, this is an excellent price for such a machine as a Clio Renaultsport 182. The market for this type of car is small, but highly competitive. At this price, it deserves very serious consideration by those seeking a tiny car with enough punch to battle some heavyweights! It uses premium unleaded petrol, but with a rating of just 8.1 litres/100 kms it will never disappoint you at fill-up time.

The drilled aluminium pedals are a nice touch and they set the mood for every driving experience. In a car which is meant to be driven (and isn't that the case with all performance orientated cars?) a 6 disc CD player is essential, in my view. But, sadly, the Clio Renaultsport 182 has just a single disc player included in its equipment list. Seating is good with plenty of room for the front occupants when there is no-one in the rear. Being a French car, the radio and cruise control are a little more complex than most, but one consultation with the owners manual will set you straight. In fact, the initial confusion is easily removed by accepting the owners manual is provided for the purpose of getting to know your car.

2004 Renault Clio Renaultsport 182 
Ash Island, NSW


Renault Clio Renaultsport 182
Location: Ash Island NSW

Click the image for a larger view

To see more images, click here.

Not every 182 is Racing Blue as you can also choose from three other colours ... Black Gold, Artic Blue or Titanium. But Racing Blue is a giveaway. It is only available on the Clio Renaultsport 182. Next time you're wondering about the Clio that got away from you at the traffic lights, just check to see if it has dual exhausts and the highly fashionable blue .... they are tell tale signs that it was a Clio Renaultsport 182!

The Clio Renaultsport 182 wears no stripes ..... but it deserves them just the same!

This car is a thoroughly modern tiny hatch which performs excessively well and provides the driver with all the entertainment one could ever want. And it does so economically and subtly, in an atmosphere of 'anything you can do, I can do'. Best of all, it comes in Racing Blue!

Stephen Walker
1st April, 2005



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