World Series by Renault Clio and Megane – Click above for high-res image gallery
With nearly every automaker launching special editions by the boatload, it's hard to point a finger and claim one is really bilking it more than the others. Especially not at Renault, which typically applies the special badge treatment to limited editions of its rippin' Renaultsport hot hatches. So you'd figure that if the French automaker were to launch a special line to honor its own one-marque formula racing series, it'd bring the goods, right? Unfortunately that doesn't appear to be the case with the World Series special edition Clio and Megane.
Not to be confused with baseball's championship, the World Series by Renault is a racing class started over a decade ago by sister company Nissan and functions as a stepping stone for aspiring racers with an eye toward F1. Current grand prix drivers Fernando Alonso, Heikki Kovalainen and Robert Kubica have all won the championship in their formative years. But while the World Series by Renault runs identical Dallara chassis with 3.5-liter 425hp Renault V6 engines, the lackluster WSR edition Clios and Meganes run engines producing between 75 and 110 hp. With a handful of minor cosmetic tweaks like spoilers and alloy wheels, the WSR specials amount to little more than an options package adding £1650 (~$2700) of equipment to otherwise ordinary cars for a £500 (~$800) premium. Not a bad deal, but not quite what we've come to expect from Renault.