Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Renault's Gordini Clio Is a Hot Hatch with Real Attitude

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Renault's Gordini Clio Is a Hot Hatch with Real Attitude

Article excerpt

THE name Gordini is as evocative for Renault enthusiasts as Cooper is for MINI fans. And now after the success of the Renault Twingo Gordini there is a new and even more dynamic Gordini on the streets - but you will have to be fast to secure one.

Each Renault Clio Gordini 200 comes in the famous Malta Blue metallic finish with optional twin white racing stripes on the bonnet, roof and tailgate, in keeping with its famous predecessors.

Just 500 of them will be coming to the UK, and each one has an engraved plate near the gearshift showing the build num1ber.

I took model number 1 out for a spin and soon found that the legacy of Amde Gordini, who developed almost 200,000 Renault vehicles over a 20-year period and achieved some of the brand's greatest sporting achievements, lives on.

This is a hot hatch that not only drives like a hot hatch but looks like one. The shrinking violet of the Clio range it is definitely not.

There is no doubt this is a Clio with attitude. The lowered stance, the wider front and rear wings - with extractor vents set in the front ones to help with cooling and high speed stability, the side skirts, and an F1-inspired front blade all ensure that this Clio stands out in the car park.

Uniquely for a car in this price range the rear bumper has an air diffuser built into it which draws in the air passing underneath the car effectively sucking it downwards to give high speed stability, a system more often seen on the race track.

The sporting theme continues inside too, with a white-faced rev counter, drilled aluminium pedals, sports seats in dark grey leather with blue detailing and the same combination on the sports steering wheel but with two white stripes to indicate the centre point.

The car also had the optional Gordini 17in alloy wheels with polished face and a light blue inner trim.

Slip into the driver's seat and the first thing that strikes you is the soft leather, body-hugging seats which hold you firmly but comfortably in place. …

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