SAM’S SLOT: The Renault Clio 182 Trophy
Ever since the release of the Volkswagen Golf GTi in 1976, car manufactures have always attempted to make more refined and sporty versions of your everyday hatchback. Peugeot took the challenge to Volkswagen and succeeded in their efforts when they created the 205 GTI. In more recent years we still see manufactures battling it out for the hot hatchback crown. A couple of years ago Renault released one of the best hot hatchbacks ever. The Clio 182 Trophy is the epitome of a hot hatchback and is a car that manufactures look up to.
After the release of the 182 Cup, Renault released the Trophy as a more refined and upgraded vehicle. This particular model has specific features that set it apart from the standard Clio. Firstly, the car comes in a unique red colour and is the only colour option available for the car. Renault was going to make all Trophy’s white but opted for red at the last minute. Renault made 500 182 Trophy’s, but had to make an additional 50 for the Swiss when they heard about this excellent hot hatchback.
The Clio is very lightweight weighing 1070kg, making it faster than its heavier rivals. This lightness comes in the form of special lightweight alloy wheels and plastic wings. There is also some weight loss due to there being a bench seat in the back of the car rather than standard seats. The Trophy also comes with special Recaro seats that sit slightly lower down in the car to give the driver a better seating position. To give the car a sportier look they fitted the wing from the Clio V6.
The most interesting feature of the Clio Trophy is the dampers. Renault decided to fit Sachs remote reservoir racing dampers to give the car more cornering stability and control. The difference between these dampers and normal ones is that the shock shaft that moves up and down as you travel over bumps is much thicker. This means that there is not enough room for the oil to be in the same chamber as the shock shaft, therefore on this damper it is stored in a separate chamber. The thicker shock shaft improves the driving experience because it can take more force enabling the driver to corner perfectly at speed with a lot of control. Sachs dampers are very common in racing and are 10 times more expensive than a standard damper so you do get a lot for your money.
The Clio Trophy is certainly a quick car with 182hp coming from a 4-cylinder, 16 valve engine. It can go from 0-60 in 6.6 seconds and has a top speed of 140mph. Also, because the Trophy is so light it means that the car is very fast and agile. Even though it is 12 years old the Trophy is still one of the best hot hatchbacks and is more affordable than newer cars. You could purchase a Renault Trophy for around £6000 and it is just as good if not better than its modern day equivalents. I know I’d rather have this car over a new Clio RS.
Overall, this is a very good hot hatchback. The lightweight body alongside the superb performance of the car makes it fast yet practical. You could do a track day in this car then nip to the supermarket to do your weekly shop. What I like most about this car is that the extras Renault put on this car such as the wheels and the Recaro seats all add up to make a fantastic sporty hatchback. Rather than simply giving it a bigger engine or fancy exhaust, Renault added multiple extras to set it aside from its competitors and that’s why it’s so good. The Clio Trophy is a great car and like I said at the beginning is the epitome of a hot hatchback. Many aspects of it are brilliant and I’m sure that the Renault Clio 82 Trophy will go down as one of the best hot hatches ever made.