I felt a few decades too old. Ideally I can imagine I should have been in my late teens, or early twenties. Even though it was warm week in summer, I would probably still have my white woolly “skully” crammed onto my head and pulled down over my ears to protect them from the non-existent biting wind.
The reason for my ageist crisis was ‘Alien Green’ in colour. It had black alloy wheels and bright red brake callipers. With these credentials it was clearly designed to gladden the heart of any self-respecting boy-racer.
Admittedly, the last half a mile of road to our house is unsurfaced with potholes that put even our cratered public roads to shame (much to the chagrin of my fellow motoring writers who have to accept cars coated with mud or dust). By the time I reached the main road I was wondering if there was a spec sheet that would confirm that suspension had been fitted.
I jest, but you get the picture. The Clio Renault
sport 200 Cup is not a car that your granny would like a run to the shops in. This is an extrovert sporting vehicle where compliant suspension has been traded for a taut sporting set up.
In that ambition it works well. The Clio Renaultsport handles and responds with the quickness and sharpness you would expect. Just show it a corner, tweak the steering and it goes round. This car loves twisty roads and it awakened my old motorsport days – I would love to have had a race circuit, or a hill climb track to drive it on.
With its racing style seats it is comfortable, too and surprisingly easy, considering the sporting side bolsters, to get in or out.
The gearbox is close ratio and changing gear is enjoyable because the pedals are ideally positioned for heel-and-toe changes (where you use the side of your foot to raise the revs, while braking, ready for the lower gear).
However, the closeness of the ratios means that sixth gear is quite low. At 70 mph the engine is revving at over 3000 rpm and is accompanied by the rorty exhaust note that gives the car some of its raw, sporting character.
As the name suggests, the power output of the Clio Renaultsport 200 Cup is 200 bhp. For a car costing £16,710 0-62 mph in 6.9 seconds is pretty quick.
Combined fuel economy is 34.4 mpg, but in reality (even being reasonably restrained in the use of the performance) my overall was 27 mpg.
Yes, I did enjoy driving the Clio Renaultsport 200 Cup. But, I wouldn’t want to drive it all the time, with its hard suspension and rorty exhaust. I’d like to keep it for track days and drive something more civilised the rest of the time.
But then, if I was wearing that white “skully” maybe I would look at things differently!