Volkswagen, Honda, Peugeot... they can all try to make hot hatches, and they may even turn out to be smashingly good. But Renault will always be the king of the hot hatches. The latest from Renaultsport, the French automaker's competition division, is the Clio Cup. It's essentially a beefed-up and stripped-down version of the critically-acclaimed Renaultsport Clio 197. (Think Clio Superleggera, or Clio Scuderia.)

Although the Clio Cup has already been available for a while now, it was originally intended for the company's one-make racing series in the UK (pictured above), supporting events for the British Touring Car Championship. Despite the Clio Cup series limiting entries to 38 cars per race, Renault has sold over 60 in the UK as buyers have been snatching them up for track use, evidently prompting Renault to change its strategy.

Now available for public consumption and use on the road, the Clio Cup is virtually identical to its track-bound counterpart: power is boosted to 205 hp from the standard 197, the suspension is tightened up and extra weight has been stripped out. It's being certified for road use in the UK under Single Vehicle Approval (SVA) tests, mandating the fitment of regular seat-belts and bigger side-view mirrors as the only modifications required for its streetability. While prices haven't yet been announced, the track version sells for £22,500, prompting an anticipated MSRP in the neighborhood of £27k.

[Source: What Car?]



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