Renaultsport Clio Trophy

Tom Forbes ‘Handling, grip, power, low weight and the appeal of exclusivity’


Year: 2005

Mileage: 76,000

Acquired: April 2018

Worst car owned: Bronze (cough- brown) 1984 Vauxhall Nova Saloon

Why did you choose the car?

In my opinion Renault has always made the best all-round hot hatches and I owned fast Renaults from Clio 172s to Megane R26s before being let loose in a Clio 182 Trophy in 2007. I couldn’t believe how different the driving experience was from a standard Clio 182. The handling, grip, cornering ability, power, low weight and the appeal of exclusivity with a limited run of 500, were all big reasons to buy one! It was the car I’ve most regretted selling over the years – until I bought it back again last year!

What’s the best bit?

The fact that it’s the actual car I sold in 2008. Randomly finding it for sale while looking at another Clio Trophy, I drove straight to Derby to view it and prised it from the hands of a car collector who was looking to make space for some new purchases. In the ten years since I owned it, it’s only covered a further 14,000 documented miles.

What’s the worst bit?

The bonnet. Small, fast Renaults from that era were made from what seemed to be recycled tin foil, so they dented very easily. Mine’s slightly shabby looking and replacing it is on the list of things I want to do.

Any modifications?

Just a KTEC exhaust. Renault stopped producing the standard one and this excellent stainless system is the closest to the original available on the market.

What’s it like to run?

You can still buy many parts off the shelf quite cheaply, but equally some parts are getting rare. A common issue with Clio 172/182 is the dreaded melting steering wheel – new original items are no longer available. Mine has a lovely retrimmed wheel from KTEC Racing, but I recently purchased a used one online and have sent it off to be retrimmed to OEM level. The owners group – – is a large, vibrant and helpful resource of knowledge for this car.

Any advice for buyers?

Find one and invest in it quickly! Servicing is a little more than just oil, spark plugs and filters; an important receipt to look out for is the one for the Sachs dampers being refurbished and rebuilt along with the belts and dephaser being replaced by a reputable specialist/dealer. Without that, expect a bill of around £2k to have it all undertaken.

Any funny mishaps?

When I originally owned the car, I travelled all the way to Cadwell Park from Surrey for a Renaultsport Track Day. Two laps in, I ripped a tyre. After spending hours trying to find a tyre place with the right Michelin Pilot Exalto and getting it fitted, I only managed an hour on track that day!