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Sold for: £22,200
The Clio V6 was in many ways the spiritual successor to the mid-engined 5 Turbo - a true motorsport homologation special of the 1980s. Taking inspiration from the 5 Turbo, Renault created an equally wide-hipped, mid-engined, ‘baby supercar' in the Clio V6. Launched in 2001, the Clio V6 Phase 1 was broadly based on the Renault Clio Mk ll, but the V6 variant actually shares very little with its standard counterpart. Most of the engineering work was undertaken by motorsport specialists TWR, who also built these cars at its Swedish Uddevalla factory, producing just 1,513 examples between 2001 and 2003. Utilising a tweaked version of the proven and unstressed 3.0-litre V6 24V unit from the Laguna saloon in place of the rear seats, the Clio V6 Phase 1 had access to 227 bhp (230 PS) and this was enough to propel it from 0-60 mph in just 6.2 seconds, with a top speed of 146 mph. Certainly not a car for the faint-hearted, this rear-wheel drive car was built in genuinely limited numbers and driven by true enthusiasts of the day. This left-hand drive car presented here in striking Iceberg Silver (number 403 of 1,513), was built in June 2001 and supplied new to Italy, where in that lovely warm climate it was driven only sparingly, covering just 72,115 kilometres (44,810 miles). Most early Clio V6s have now been modified, but this example remains true to its original specification. In more recent years, the car was in Japan, where rare and charismatic sports car are coveted and much collected. Our UK vendor, having set his sights on owning a Clio V6, and looking long and hard until he found the right one, had the car fully inspected before purchasing it. Upon its arrival in the UK in 2015, it was taken to a renowned V6 specialist (SG Motorsport Services Ltd.) for a major service and some light re-commissioning. The invoice, present in the car's history file, details this work included the fitting of a new cam-belt and clutch, and totals £3,331.27 (4,200 Euros). The specialist was very impressed with the condition and performance of the car, stating it was ‘one of the best he'd ever seen'. Hence, he was able to supply an accompanying letter stating the car is all-original and in very good condition, with nearly zero corrosion on the underside. He was also able to source the original build-sheet from Renault. The car also retains its original spare key, tool kit, tyre inflater and book-pack. Importantly, the Clio V6 Phase 1 represents the essence of the modern, mid-engined ‘hot-hatch' from Renault and classic car history often suggests that it's the early cars that end up being the most sought-after. In addition to this, the Phase 1 was a real limited edition model, with the cachet of being engineered and built by a famous motor-sport specialist. These factors, all combine with this example's originality and low mileage, and sound like a recipe for future classic status.