When it comes to their full-size cars, the French are known to underestimate the amount of power needed, and end up with excellently handling cars that leave a lot to be desired under the hood. But if there’s one thing they do astoundingly well (except for comedy, at which they are peerless) it’s in designing and building hot hatches. Remember the Peugeot 205 GTI?. The 2006 Renault Clio Renaultsport 197 is a prime example of that. At first glance, it looks like it’s on crack, and when you drive it, hot dang, it IS crack! I jest. Enough illicit substances jokes. Now now. The Clio Renaultsport is a very well-designed car, with superb handling more than good enough for the track, but easily adaptable to everyday use, roomy absolutely overpowered. Which of course is awesome.
The original Clio Renaultsport 197 was fitted with a 2-liter, DOHC high performance four cylinder engine, that produced 194 horsepower, tantalizingly close to the mythical 100 horsepower per liter of displacement that still is one measure of the gold standard of performance and optimization. Thus equipped, the Clio 197 could reach a top speed of 134 miles per hour – fast enough in such a tiny car – and accelerate to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds.
Power, looks, efficiency and most of all, usability in all circumstances are by-words for the 2006 Renault Clio Renaultsport 197. Not many small, compact cars can count on an engine of that caliber, and even few have the chassis, suspension and transmission to make the most of it!