2003 Renault Clio V6 Phase 1View vehicle description
The standard Renault Clio is a charming little thing; in a market where plodding mediocrity and penny-pinching is the norm, the little French hatchback is full of vim and pep. So much so that one of our number was having so much fun on the official launch that he got hopelessly lost and ended up miles from where he was meant to be. (He also missed a very good lunch, which is the real tragedy in the story…)
On the other hand, the Clio V6 Renault Sport is a stone-cold killer with a PTA mum’s smile; if James Dean had been alive in the early noughties it would’ve been a Clio V6 that did it for him: Live Fast, Die Young is the French car’s motto – and we love it all the more for being so fabulously and incurably bonkers.
The Clio V6 Phase 1 of 2001 to 2003 is based on the Clio MKII, although this relationship is more notional than real as they ended up sharing very few components. With a three-litre, 227bhp V6 engine stuffed where the rear seats used to live, the need for extensive strengthening means that it weighs a porky 300kgs more than the 172 Cup, the next fastest car in the Clio range.
Developed and built by Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) in Uddevalla, Sweden, the Clio V6 might only be marginally quicker than a decent hot-hatchback of the era - 0 to 60mph in 6.2 seconds and a top speed of almost 150mph - but it is such an astonishingly visceral car that it renders other comparisons meaningless thanks to a unique cacophony of noise and motion blur.
Just over 1,500 Phase 1 cars were built before Renault introduced the Phase 2 in 2003. The Phase 2’s two-year production life comprised 1,309 cars and a power boost to 252bhp.
The Renault Sport Clio V6 is, in fact, so good that Jeremy Clarkson once named it one of his top ten cars, which is quite the accolade - and if you’ve ever fancied one, we’ve got a cracker for sale right here…
First registered on the 17th of March 2003, this wonderful Renault Clio V6 has a full service history, a few carefully selected modifications and has just sailed through an MOT.
Number 1441 of only around 1500 Phase 1 cars ever built, this places it towards the end of the production numbers by which time TWR had well-and-truly got its eye in. Only lightly used, it has been in the care of its current owner for the past five-or-so years.
As a member of the V6Clio.net owners’ club, he’s used it for meets and runs out with the club so it’s a well-known car in Clio V6 circles. Being offered with a very sensible guide price, this is your chance to get your hands on a well-fettled and low-mileage Clio that you can actually use without fear of ruining it.
On the Outside
The Iceberg Silver coachwork looks terrific. With straight panels, ripple-free flanks and factory shutlines, it looks every bit as good now as it ever has.
Perhaps even better than when it was new thanks to the RenaultSport trophy rear spoiler fitted to the top of the tailgate. Finished in the body colour of Iceberg Silver and the very item fitted to the V6 Trophy race cars, it looks terrific and adds to the Clio V6’s purposeful stance.
The 17-inch, 16-spoke RenaultSport alloy wheels are shod with matching Pirelli P7 Cinturato tyres, all of which have good tread as they have covered fewer than 100 miles since being fitted.
As we will never tire of explaining, our experience shows that matching high-quality tyres are an infallible sign of a caring and mechanically sympathetic owner who is prepared to spend the appropriate amount in maintaining their car properly. Their presence does not, of course, preclude the need for a thorough inspection - something the vendor would welcome, by the way – but do give you a shortcut into their attitude towards maintenance.
All the Renault Sport body accoutrements are present and correct, as are the badges. The light lenses and glass are free of scratches and damage, and those swollen hips, machine gun-like exhaust pipes, and the air scoops for the engine bay show following cars that this ain’t your normal shopping trolley.
Of course, there are a few stonechips here and there, plus the odd minor mark, but nothing at all to detract from the appearance of this iconic mid-engined hatchback.
In fact, the only point of note is the underside of the front spoiler, which shows signs of previous minor damage and scuffing. It’s not that bad at all and is, of course, largely invisible unless you crawl under the car.
On the Inside
The blue leather and suede seats are in great shape, being firm and supportive and free of damage, rips and tears. Very lightly creased indeed, the only significant wear is some very minor colour loss to a small area of the outer edge of the driver’s seat.
Other nice touches include alloy pedals, RenaultSport overmats, and the original plaque in between the seats that gives the Clio’s build number #1441.
The somewhat staid Clio interior has been discreetly livened up with a refurbished original steering wheel and a black flocked dashboard. The latter, which was fitted in April 2008 cuts down reflections very effectively and remains in good condition.
Other than that it’s all original and all in great shape. That means the carpets are good, as are the various trim panels, headlining, door cards, and instruments. Everything seems to work too, which leaves the new owner with nothing to do other than fill it up and disappear into the sunset in a cloud of dust and envy…
The Clio’s servicing regimen is as thorough as you’d imagine, and comprises:
14.04.2005 and 11,451 miles – routine service by Graham and Bowness, a Renault dealer
10.06.2006 - a BMC Carbon Dynamic replacement airbox and a performance air filter were fitted
11.10.2006 - a Janspeed performance exhaust was fitted
06.12.2006 - a SuperChip was fitted giving another 13bhp, 34lb/ft of torque and much greater flexibility
15.04.2008 - replacement Phase 2 gearbox fitted along with a full clutch kit, a service, and a new cambelt and waterpump at a cost of around £2,000
13.05.2010 and 18,611 miles – routine service by Drakes, a Renault main dealer
28.05.2010 – all four alloy wheels refurbished at a cost of £800
06.10.2018 and 24,253 miles – routine service including cambelt and waterpump by ALS at a cost of £1,271. This work was carried out less than 100 miles ago
22.06.2020 – fresh coolant and a new thermostat at a cost of £188
The front boot area might be an untidy mess of factory pipework and miscellaneous mechanical components but it’s in great shape bar a rusty bonnet catch. It is also home to a new battery.
The engine bay is very neat and clean, which is just as well because if you pop the engine covers off you can leave your new Clio V6’s mid-engine on display for envious passersby to admire and compliment you on your good taste.
The rear ‘boot’ might be tiny but it is very clean and neatly organized and home to the factory toolkit, which is present and correct.
And, the underside is straight and solid. Never having come to the attention of an MOT tester, it puts paid to the myth about all French hatchbacks being rust buckets.
Oh, and that Janspeed exhaust? The owner tells us that it is one of his favourite aspects of the Clio: “it makes an incredible noise”, he told us. “It really suits the car’s bonkers nature and never fails to put a smile on my face.”
So, why not crank the volume up to 11 and take a listen for yourselves on the attached video?
The Clio’s MOT certificate expires in June 2021 and was gained without a single advisory, something it’s been doing since 2013. It comes with a number of expired MOT certificates plus a sheaf of invoices and bills to confirm the work that has been done to it over the years.
It also still has its original driver’s handbook, book pack, stamped service history booklet and wallet, a copy of ‘RenaultSport Clio V6’ by Gilles Bonnafous, and two keys and remote controls.
With eight previous owners, we must point out that this means that it has also had nine honeymoon periods, periods when nothing was too much trouble and expense was rarely an issue; Bucket List cars like this tend to attract careful, enthusiastic owners who buy the cars of their dreams and then pamper it before moving it along to make space in their garage for the next one.
Please visit the documents section of the gallery of this listing where you will find photos of this and other paperwork to support our claim that this car has been maintained and modified to a very good standard.
If you’d like to inspect the car prior to placing a bid – something we would encourage – then please use the Contact Seller button to arrange an appointment.
And please be reassured, we’ve undertaken a full COVID-assessment and put into place strict control measure to enable us to safely facilitate a no-contact, socially distanced viewing that includes disinfection of the vehicle before and after your viewing.
NB. We know that many of you will be limiting your social exposure over the coming days and weeks, so if you’d rather not come to see the car in person, please give us a call and we can shoot a personal video of the car honing in on any areas you’d like us to concentrate on.
Or, even better, why not contact us with your mobile number and we can set up a WhatsApp video call? You get to direct us in real-time, giving you a virtual personal viewing experience while maintaining the lockdown. We like to call it ‘The Market’s 2020 Vision’…
What We Think
With a guide price of £25,000 to £30,000, we expect this example to sell for around half of the price of the incredible, record-breaking Phase 2 Liquid Yellow one we sold recently.
Why so cheap? Well, it’s a Phase One car for a start, and has had more owners and has covered a greater mileage. But, that mileage is still under 25,000 miles, which is a staggeringly low figure for a car that’s knocking on the door of its third decade.
It’s also a much better car for the Clio V6 enthusiast who is looking for a car they can actually use; with moderate miles and a few carefully selected modifications, it’s perfect for the driver who’s looking for a Clio V6 that they can use and enjoy as the engineers intended.
Viewing is always encouraged, and this particular car is located with us at The Market HQ near Abingdon; to arrange an appointment please use the Contact Seller button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.
If needed, Footman James classic car insurance and Classic Concierge offer storage options plus we have a list of contacts who can help with transport and shipping.
BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we never stop encouraging bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at those vehicles which are delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.
Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.
Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using simple cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.
Please note that this is sold as seen and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, return policy does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.
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