Renault Clio V6

Oliver Cannon ‘Despite all the criticisms, not many cars come close in terms of visceral driving’

  • Year: 2005

  • Mileage: 70,000

  • Acquired: 2015

  • Dream car: Ruby Stone Porsche 964 RS

Why did you choose the car?

My brother already owned a V6, and having had the pleasure of taking it around the Nurbürgring, I soon realised that nothing else in my price range could offer the same mix of raucous, mid-engined and, contrary to popular belief, capable performance.

The added allure of Renault's history and reputation when it comes to producing performance hatchbacks reinforced my decision that I was making a secure investment in both driving pleasure and – something as driving enthusiasts we try not to factor in – strong residual values.

Despite the often-repeated criticisms of poor performance, my experience is that, in terms of speed, handling, direct turn-in, fast-rising revs and driveability (due to its compact size) not many cars come close to the V6 in terms of visceral driving.

What’s the best bit? 

The experiences I've had through owning the car. A track day at Silverstone and a car club trip through Wales, the EVO triangle and Anglesey were without doubt the highlights. 

What’s the worst bit? 

Anything that doesn't allow the car to be used. Not because of any inherent unreliability, but because of my own desire to ensure that the car is mechanically and aesthetically in the best-prepared condition for driving.

What’s it like to run? 

All my work is carried out by SG Motorsport. They specialise in Clio V6s. Scott there has a supply of parts often unavailable through distributors or directly from Renault. Parts are becoming scarce, and prices of those available either through the owners' network or from specialists reflect this. On more than one occasion my car has received the 'last one Renault France have in stock' which can be worrying, but in the past Renault has put through short manufacturing runs of a part due to owner demand. What we really need is a 'Renault Classic' department.

Any modifications? 

There's a Janspeed back-box, a Phase 1 Clio V6 clutch, a lightweight flywheel and race seats plus a Nardi steering wheel to improve the driving position. More recently I've had solid top-mounts installed in advance of KW V3s due to be fitted early next year.

Any advice for buyers? 

Modern classics like the Clio V6 will at some point in their life have fallen to low values and then risen. During that 'low' time, the car may not have been looked after in the best possible way, and the slightly grubby car you are looking at with an inflated price tag might be a poor representation of what you could buy from an enthusiast for the same money. I'd say buy privately from reputable classifieds on the condition of the car and the authenticity of the owner.

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Lewis Plumb