Renault Clio 172 Exclusivity | Spotted
Almost unique, the luxury hot hatch is a French affliction. Think of the Peugeot 205 Gentry (using the GTI’s 1.9-liter engine with an automatic transmission), the DS 3 Performance (which looked like a DS 3 Racing, but with chunks of gold) and the Renault Gordini, which somehow put some uncertain good Renault stripes.
It’s a bizarre fascination that, oddly enough, hasn’t always been so popular with UK buyers. Those looking for a hot hatch usually don’t covet plush, while those looking for the luxury automobile probably don’t consider superminis to be particularly opulent. Some others have tried it – think Mini Goodwood – but the pocket rocket luxury car is rarely a commercial success, not least because it often costs more than the standard car. And hot hatch buyers are often looking for an inexpensive thrill. It is not for nothing that the various Cups, Rallies and Trophies are now establishing themselves as modern classics …
That said, however, there is something intriguing about the high-end hot hatch as a pre-owned prospect – something like this Clio 172 Exclusive, for example. In most cases, you still get a great hot hatch (one of the best here), albeit with a terrific rarity and specification that now also counts in its favor decades later. Plus, as one of the less hardcore editions – hence less appealing to collectors – values haven’t climbed as quickly.
The Exclusive did not detract from the innate appeal of the Clio 172. Launched in 2000 as the model’s first special edition, the 500-unit series (with 172 for the UK) featured a gray leather interior. , beetle green paint and new 15-inch alloy wheels – that was it. Maybe the resulting look isn’t as iconic now as something like a Coupe or later a Trophy 182, but the changes won’t be extensive enough to spoil one of Renault’s great fast-paced experiences. And it is a very beautiful green.
This Exclusive is number 161 in the UK allowance, a 2001 car with just over 100,000 miles. Plus, remarkably enough, not a single modification, which is another plus of this hot little hatch niche so many years after launch: Those who were going to do track projects would start with a cheaper standard car or coupe. more appropriate, not an Exclusivity of its beautiful leather. As originality becomes a popular classic, this one ticks all the boxes, right down to the CD player.
A glimpse of the MOT history shows a car that has had limited use over the past few years, but has passed without a hitch in 2016, 2018, 2020 and 2021. It may have been in storage in the hope of ‘to be appreciated, but at £ 4,995 this 172 certainly hasn’t seen the same kind of rise as its most revered siblings. Nonetheless, while it’s easy to see why the Exclusive didn’t make a lot of sense at the turn of the millennium, over 20 years later, it would be very easy to spend a lot over £ 5,000 on a classic hot hatch a lot. less entertaining than this one. With or without leather and a build plate, fun should always be the number one priority – luckily the French are pretty good at this kind of hot hatch as well.
SPECIFICATION | RENAULTSPORT CLIO 172 EXCLUSIVE
Motor: 1,998 cm3, 4 cylinders
Transmission: 5-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Power (hp): 172 @ 6,500rpm
Torque (lb ft): 148 @ 5,250 rpm
CO2: 186g / km
First registered: 2001
Mileage recorded: 106,000
New price: £ 15,995 (standard 172)
Yours for: £ 4,995