X65 Clio Sport Series 1
1 May 2001
RENAULT’S Clio is a light car that was first introduced on the world market in 1991, as the replacement for the R5, the 1972 hatchback that is widely regarded as the first of the modern ‘superminis’.
Australia never saw the Mk1 Clio at all, and almost missed out on the Mk2 Series 1 model launched in Europe during 1998. Eventually, three years into its life, we saw it for just seven months in Sport hot hatch mode.
Yet only 85 made it to the country, and all were presold.
Dubbed Clio Sport, it was powered by a 16-valve 2.0-litre twin-cam 16-valve four-cylinder engine with variable valve timing to help it produces 124kW of power and 200Nm of torque, driving the front wheels via a five-speed close-ratio gearbox.
Compared to standard Clio’s, its MacPherson strut front and torsion beam rear suspension had been tuned for a more sporting performance and mated to low-profile 195/50 radial tyres mated to 15-inch alloy wheels.
Stopping performance was boosted by disc brakes all round, electronic brake force proportioning and ABS anti-lock braking.
The Clio Sport backed up the performance specification with drilled metal pedals, fog lamps, leather steering wheel and leather trimmed seats, remote central locking, trip computer, an in-dash CD player and front and side airbags.
The Road to Recovery podcast series
When it was new