Hot hatches don’t get much hotter than this rare and collectible 2001 Renault Clio V6 Mk 1, our autoTRADER.ca Find of the Week. Engineered by Renault’s performance and motorsport division, RenaultSport, the Clio V6 Mk 1 is basically a road-going version of the RenaultSport Clio race cars that competed in the European Trophy series.
Though the Clio V6 body style is loosely based on the front-wheel drive Renault Clio II hatchback, its 230 hp 3.0-litre V6 engine is mounted behind the front seats sending power through a six-speed manual transmission to the rear wheels. To handle the extra power and weight, the Clio’s body, suspension and drivetrain were extensively reworked adding about 300 kg to its curb weight. Key styling elements include distinctive side inlet air scoops just ahead of the rear wheels, short front and rear overhangs, projector beam headlights and fog lights, twin tailpipes, yellow brake calipers, and a low stance.
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All Clio V6 Mk 1 models were hand-assembled by Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) in Sweden with parts supplied by Renault. In 2003, Mk 1 models were followed by the redesigned and more-powerful 255-hp Clio V6 Mk 2 version and production was moved to France. Production ended in 2005.
With the engine mounted amidships, a low centre of gravity, and sticky 17-inch tires, this “Iceberg Silver” 2001 Clio V6 Mk 1 offers amazing handling and braking. It can sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in about 6.2 seconds.
The interior features a two-tone blue and grey instrument panel and sports seats upholstered in a combination leather and Alcantara suede-like material with embossed RenaultSport logos. The driver faces a two-tone leather-wrapped steering wheel and sporty white-faced gauges. Between the seats is a central tunnel that matches the exterior colour of the car and features a prominent six-speed manual shifter with a metal shift knob.
Creature comforts weren’t forgotten in the production model of the Clio V6: included are air conditioning, power windows, power door locks with central locking, power mirrors, and a premium audio system.
The mid-engine design sacrifices storage space though. With the engine and transmission taking up most of the space where the rear seat and trunk should be and a very small “trunk” under the hood, there’s just enough room for a couple of small overnight bags.
Only about 1,500 Mk 1 models were produced and as they were never sold in North America when new, your chances of seeing another one driving down the street in Canada are highly unlikely! Each car features a numbered plaque on the console between the seats. This one is #0178.
With 71,300 km on the clock, this 2001 Clio V6 has relatively low mileage for its age and its asking price of $69,800 reflects its exclusivity and collectible status. As a road-going car that could easily double as a weekend racer, this RenaultSport Clio V6 is a driver’s car that can be enjoyed every day.