It doesn’t seem that long ago that the latest Clio Renaultsport would be automatically considered the best value performance hatch in its class. Whilst a decent Mini Cooper S used to set you back around £16,500 you could pick up a Clio Renaultsport Cup for a little under £14,000. Bargain. But the same is not so immediately true when it comes to the Clio Gordini.
When Renault announced the Gordini brand earlier this year we wondered how it would fit alongside their existing Renaultsport range – thoughts of even higher performing models entered our minds, bearing in mind the rich competition success of those R8 Gordinis which finished 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th in the 1964 Tour of Corsica rally.
But the clue to Renault’s revival of the Gordini brand lies in the presentation of the range on their own microsite:[blockquote type=”blockquote_quotes” align=”center”]
The Gordini Guide to Style
The very essence of French chic comes to the UK with the arrival of the Gordini range. First with Twingo and then Clio, Gordini is about more than just a car – it’s a style. The distinctive Gordini white stripes and finishing touches invite you to enjoy the very best in elegance and class from us. With a leather interior, full connectivity and beautiful looks, Gordini shows off at the top of our range. The car is not all. With merchandise worthy of a Paris catwalk, you can add a touch of glorious Gordini style to more than just your journey. Gordini is confident good looks with personality, but how does it drive? Try it.[/blockquote]
Oh dear.. Has the cheeky French brand lost its va, va, voom..?
The Clio Gordini 200 follows on from the recent Twingo Gordini 133, and is expected to appeal to drivers who are looking for a luxurious and sporting small car, mixed with the flair of an iconic French name.
Clio Gordini 200 features a Renault i.d. Malta Blue metallic finish with twin white racing stripes on the bonnet, roof and tailgate, in keeping with the Gordini style. The front bumper is enhanced with a gloss black centre section and white F1-style ‘blade’. The door mirrors are also highlighted in white. This exclusive exterior styling package is completed by 17-inch Gordini alloy wheels with a polished face and black inner rim. ‘Gordini Series’ badging finishes the exterior design.
The same Gordini spirit continues inside thanks to Renaultsport seats in dark grey leather with blue details and Gordini-embossed logo. Blue detailing continues on the gearlever gaiter and Gordini-badged gearknob. The steering wheel is finished in blue and dark grey leather with two white stripes to indicate the centre point. The fascia features a white rev counter and the effect is completed with black gloss finish to the centre console, fascia inserts and air vent surrounds.
An exclusive plate will show the build number of the 500 exclusive examples that will come to the UK.
Clio Gordini 200 is based on the Renaultsport 200 and as with its Renaultsport sibling can be specified with either the standard ‘sport’ or Cup chassis. In addition, Clio Gordini 200 features climate control, curtain airbags, anti-submarining airbags, automatic headlight and wiper activation, cruise control, speed limiter, ESC, 4x20W radio-CD with Bluetooth hands free system with fingertip remote control and multifunctional TunePoint with USB connection, heated and electrically folding door mirrors, double optic headlamps with additional cornering lights, Renault hands free card for automatic unlocking and engine start, height and reach adjustable steering column and extra-tinted rear windows.
Customers can personalise their Gordini 200 with a choice of two other exterior colours. Pearl Black is available with white Gordini stripes or Glacier white with anthracite Gordini stripes and anthracite for the door mirrors and front blade. Should a customer wish, the Gordini stripes can be deleted. Customers can also choose from Gordini wheels with a blue inner rim (£100), Cup chassis (lower ride height, stiffer springs and dampers, red finish to the Brembo brake callipers, quicker steering rack – £410), Carminat TomTom satellite navigation (£460), rear parking sensors (£310) or electric panoramic glass sunroof (£615).
Clio Gordini 200 is available to order now at £19,650 on the road with first deliveries arriving in July, and whilst it’s a stylish little number we can’t help thinking that Renault might have missed a trick with the revival of the Gordini name.