CLUBGT Performance and Supercar Hire Club : Renault Clio 172 Cup

16 Nov 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on CLUBGT Performance and Supercar Hire Club : Renault Clio 172 Cup

2392 (UK RHD); 106 with A/C

The Renault Clio Renaultsport 172 Cup was launched in August 2002 and is a lightweight limited edition version of the highly acclaimed Renaultsport 172 with a number of technical developments. Not hiding it’s race-car credentials the 172 Cup is Group N-homologated ready for the rally stage or track and also road legal. It’s highly focused nature and extra performance delivers more driver involvement which Renaultsport achieved by stripping out weight and modifying the suspension setup.

The weight loss is achieved by removing the spare wheel, Xenon headlights, side airbags, leather, carpet covers, rear headrests, stowage drawer under the passenger seat, using thinner lightweight glass all round as well as revised sound deadening. Larger weight savings were made by replacing the spare wheel for a foam canister and also deleting the ABS (15kg) and the climate control (although ours is a later car with that added added back). A total of 89kg or 8% of the weight was stripped out bringing the weight down to just over 1000kg, although the cabin remains well specced with some luxuries and has supportive special black cloth ‘Mossa’ upholstery for grip during hard driving.

To compensate for the loss of ABS, which is not suited to competition use, the brake system was modified and less assisted to make it more progressive which is better for brake modulation while driving to the limit. Outside the car has a more sporting appearance with a larger tailgate spoiler and flexible lower section of the front bumper with front splitter providing increased downforce and improving the aerodynamics. Wider 16” Speedline Turini alloys of a design similar to the competition cars were fitted and a single exclusive exterior colour Mondial Blue was available, although Silver was later made available as an option along with climate control.

The suspension revisions consisted of a change in the front castor angle from 1.5 to 3degrees to improve steering feedback and stability, the suspension is also stiffer, lower and wider to increase grip. The front and rear track is increased by 25mm and 10mm as a result of the different offsets of the new wheels and the car is also lowered by 3mm compared to a standard 172 and features stiffer front springs, all helping to increasing corning potential and stability.

In the home market where the car was originally released it was called the ‘Jean Ragnotti’ or just Ragnotti after the rally driver who drove for Renault from 1973 to 1995 in Renault 5 turbos, and Clio Maxis.

This is what a hot hatch should feel like. Suddenly each corner becomes a manic challenge and I’m so engrossed in the action that I barely have time to analyse why the Cup is such fun ****1/2 evo Magazine, June 2003

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