Collecting Cars

2007 RENAULT CLIO 197 'CUP CAR CONVERSION'

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This Renaultsport Clio 197 is a highly modified hot hatch, which has been customised with a powerful engine upgrade and stripped-out interior, to turn it into a thrilling road or track day car. Under the bonnet is a turbocharged inline-four from a Renaultsport Megane 225, which has been tuned to 280bhp by RS Tuning, with the six-speed manual transmission from the same car. The odometer shows approximately 106,000 miles from new, though the engine has around 80,000 miles of use in total.

The turbocharged Megane 225 engine features an uprated intercooler and intake kit, a large bore 2.75-inch downpipe and a custom exhaust system. There are also GT Performance hard pipe and silicone hose kits, an Airtek header tank, a new radiator, engine loom and air filter, and brand-new Bosch ignition coils and OEM spark plugs. An Odyssey PC680 battery has been fitted and relocated, along with a fused distribution block.

It is fitted with genuine Clio Cup racer EE brackets, custom longer driveshafts, extended anti-rotation links and steering rods. It has solid subframe mounts, and the geometry has been adjusted with 25mm wider track, 25mm roll centre correction, and a 25mm lower ride height before coilover adjustment. There is a quicker steering rack from a Clio 200 Cup, and the car is currently running a camber of 4+ degrees. It has had a full setup by track car specialist AK Automotive including corner weighting, and tips the scales at 1255kg with fuel and an 80kg driver.

The seller reports that every suspension component front and rear is new, including the ball joints, camber shims, hub bolts, and all nuts, washers and other bolts. The rear beam and front wishbones are fitted with Powerflex polyurethane bushes, and the car rides on brand-new GAZ Gold coilover shock absorbers with custom spring rates. Coilover socks are also fitted, and the components have been protected with ACF50. Braking is by high-carbon discs and Ferodo DS1.11 pads.

Inside, this custom Clio is fitted with a six-point MSA specification bolt-in roll cage, along with FIA approved Sabelt GT-3 bucket seats and Turn One six-point HANS-compatible harnesses. There is also a Sabelt steering wheel trimmed in Alcantara, a ZeroPointOne mechanical shifter, and a Rentune foot plate. The car is fitted with a stripped wiring loom, a cut-off switch on the dashboard, and track car door panels. It would require a plumbed-in fire extinguisher to meet full racing regulations.

While almost wholly track-focused, this modified Clio 197 remains road legal. It was first registered in October 2007, and the seller has owned the car more than once, most recently acquiring it in July 2019.

The paintwork condition is commensurate with its track car status, with small scratches, chips, marks, and lacquer blemishes all around the body. There are also small holes from previously mounted canards on the front bumper, large air intake holes behind the number plate, and a crack in the front splitter. The washer jets have also been deleted. The acid green 17-inch alloy wheels show typical scuffs and chips from track use.

There is a small dent in the roof from when the roll cage was fitted, and evidence of filler in the custom cut-outs in the rear bumper, where it was previously repaired on the nearside. Some paint blemishes are present on the side skirts from trailer lashings, and there are two chips in the windscreen that have been professionally filled. The bonnet and boot lid are fitted with quick-release AeroCatch pins.

The interior has been almost completely stripped out, so presents in the same bright red as the rest of the shell. The bolted-in gloss black roll cage is in good condition, and the original dashboard has been cut out to fit around the frame. The Sabelt seats present well, with no rips in the fabric and only minimal wear. All airbags and the SRS system have been removed, and the warning lights on the dashboard reflect this.

Following the most recent track day, the seller self-serviced the Clio with fresh engine oil and a new filter, along with replacement coolant and brake fluid. The same process is followed after every outing, to keep the car in good mechanical order - and consequently the oil and filter have been replaced four times in the last 12 months. The gearbox oil has also just been renewed. The timing belt was last changed around three years ago, when the Megane engine was installed.

The most recent MOT test was carried out on 27 July 2019 at 103,718 miles, which resulted in a first-time pass with only one advisory regarding wear to the front tyres - which were subsequently replaced. Given the six-month extension, it is not due for another MOT test until 26 January 2021.

The car will be sold with three sets of tyres, including evenly worn Dunlop slicks with 3-4mm of tread, a mixture of brand-new Nankang and used Yokohama semi-slick items, and brand-new and unused Avon wet tyres with 7mm of tread.

This Renaultsport Clio has been transformed from a B-road champion to a stripped-out track day star. A turbocharged engine with 280bhp in a 1200kg Clio is undoubtedly as riotous as it sounds, and this car also benefits from comprehensive upgrades to the driveline, suspension, and brakes, to ensure it can handle that power efficiently and reliably. This is a car with a high fun factor, and which begs to be driven by a passionate enthusiast in exciting closed-course sessions.

All cars and motorbikes on Collecting Cars are run through an online HPI check. This vehicle shows no insurance database markers for damage or theft, and has no finance owing.

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