Last weeks entry about the awesome microcar Rovin did not lead to much data traffic, I guess most of you are just interested in horsepower packed weirdness. So here I give thee le Clio impressionant tres énorme, the infamous Renault Clio V6!
It came as a shock and, off course, was the spiritual successor of the probably even more infamous R5 Turbo. Crazy mid-engined, short wheelbase, nimble as hell and quite the torque/horsepower.
You all recognize this one as being a Phase I Clio V6. It was quite notorious, this Phase I was built at Tom Walkingshaw's TWR (known for Le Mans racers from Jaguar or even taking over Arrows racing and competing in Formula One for several years). It lasted only 3 years before a reworked Phase 2 was introduced, following criticisms of the V6's handling (especially in the wet). Story also goes Renault wasn't completely satisfied with the building quality of TWR, which must have been very bad knowing Renault's own quality at that time. The Phase II was way better but that's for another French Friday entry!
Though based on a utilitarian hatchback, the Clio V6 is not your practical family car off course. The loss of the back seats and most of the boot space results in a severe restriction in luggage space: there's only a small space in the front where a normal Clio's engine used to be, suitable for some week-end groceries, a small netted area behind the seats plus a small stash area under the tailgate.
The model itself is a Chinese built universal hobbies. Not just a normal UH, it's a freaking 'owner's edition', that came in this nice box!
I got it from an actual ex-Clio V6-owner from France when I was looking to get me a Renault Sport Spider (which I'm still looking for). Too bad the passenger mirror was torn from it.
The quality of the die-cast isn't all that well. Details like the antenna and windscreenwipers are way too big, the undercarriage is almost completely flat. I like the wheels and tires though as they look quite accurate:
I'm not sure what I like better, the mid-engined R5 or this Clio though. This Clio V6 must be one of the cars I'm most curious about when it comes to wanting to try one once.
I don't think I'll find an owner's edition again very quick, it's just too bad that mirror is missing. I suppose I could do the Phase II next week!