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First drive: Clio Renaultsport 200 Raider. Image by Renault.

First drive: Clio Renaultsport 200 Raider
More kit and matte paint for 50 limited edition Raider Clio Renaultsport 200s - get one while you can.

   



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| First Drive | Surrey, England | Clio Renaultsport 200 Raider |

Overall rating: 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5

One of our favourite hot hatches gets the Limited Edition treatment, bringing more kit and a plaque denoting its build number in the run-of-50. The Clio Renaultsport Raider is not cheap, though.

Key Facts

Pricing: 21,695
Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol
Transmission: six-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Body style: three-door hot hatch
Rivals: Renaultsport Clio Cup, MINI John Cooper Works, Vauxhall Corsa VXR
CO2 emissions: 190g/km
Combined economy: 34.5mpg
Top speed: 141mph
0-62mph: 6.9 seconds
Power: 197bhp at 7,100rpm
Torque: 158lb.ft at 5,400rpm

In the Metal: 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5

Is there a better looking small hot hatch out there? We don't think so; the Clio Renaultsport's perfect mix of thuggish-ness in a shopping car's package is difficult to fault. The vented, widened front wings, hunkered down stance and the smart detailing front and rear combined with its large alloy wheels (with Brembo callipers visible behind them) look fantastic. Raider changes mean bigger wheels - 18-inches over the standard 17 - while it's only offered in a choice of two matte finishes - red or stealth grey. Darker tints on the rear windows, a black roof, wheels and mirrors as well as a B-pillar plaque also denote the Raider.

Inside, more Raider additions bring a Renaultsport gear knob, a pair of brilliant Recaro seats upholstered in leather, a numbered plaque and a white rev counter. Most of the additional kit could be added to a regular Renaultsport Clio, but that numbered plaque should make all the difference to Renaultsport fans.

Driving it: 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5

With a standard Cup chassis, the rev-happy 2.0-litre 197bhp petrol engine and quick shifting six-speeder of its regular Clio Renaultsport relatives there are few surprises in the way the Raider drives. That is to say, it's brilliant, the Clio Renaultsport rightfully proclaimed as the finest supermini-based hot hatch you can buy. It grips tenaciously, accelerates with real vigour and the steering is quick and direct. There's even some feel through the leather-rimmed steering wheel. The usual compromises are here too though, as the 2.0-litre engine needs big revs to produce its best, meaning you have to be quick with the gearbox and prepared for high-rev work if you want proper instantaneous response - but that's part of the fun.

The standard Cup chassis does mean you'll have to put up with a fairly busy ride, and the larger 18-inch wheels don't help the situation. It's tiresome around town where every lump, bump and manhole cover has you bracing yourself, though on flowing country roads things improve markedly.

What you get for your Money: 4 4 4 4 4

Nearly 22k for a Clio Renaultsport is at the thick end of the affordability spectrum - generous equipment or not. You're really going to have to want that one-of-50 plaque and the matte paint to pay the premium. A standard Clio 200 with Recaros and the Cup chassis pack would be available for under 20,000.

Worth Noting

The Raider isn't the only Clio Renaultsport special available at the moment. You could opt for a Silverstone 200, which gets some badging, a track day, Recaro seats and Cup chassis for less than the price of the Raider. It's another one-of-50 version, so it'll be just as coveted when Renault drops the ball in the future and only offers the Clio's replacement Renaultsport model in five-door guise.

Summary

We love the Renaultsport Clio and the Raider does add a lot of kit to the package. Much of it is unique too, though unless you really must have that numbered edition, or crave matte paint, a standard 200 or Cup will provide all the entertainment for a lot less money. Spend the difference on track days and tyres...


Kyle Fortune - 15 Dec 2011



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2011 Clio Renaultsport 200 Raider. Image by Renault.2011 Clio Renaultsport 200 Raider. Image by Renault.2011 Clio Renaultsport 200 Raider. Image by Renault.2011 Clio Renaultsport 200 Raider. Image by Renault.2011 Clio Renaultsport 200 Raider. Image by Renault.

2011 Clio Renaultsport 200 Raider. Image by Renault.2011 Clio Renaultsport 200 Raider. Image by Renault.2011 Clio Renaultsport 200 Raider. Image by Renault.2011 Clio Renaultsport 200 Raider. Image by Renault.2011 Clio Renaultsport 200 Raider. Image by Renault.



2011 Clio Renaultsport 200 Raider. Image by Renault.
 

2011 Clio Renaultsport 200 Raider. Image by Renault.
 

2011 Clio Renaultsport 200 Raider. Image by Renault.
 

2011 Clio Renaultsport 200 Raider. Image by Renault.
 

2011 Clio Renaultsport 200 Raider. Image by Renault.
 

2011 Clio Renaultsport 200 Raider. Image by Renault.
 

2011 Clio Renaultsport 200 Raider. Image by Renault.
 

2011 Clio Renaultsport 200 Raider. Image by Renault.
 






 

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