The Clio beat off stiff competition from a number of super fast cars including new Porsche Boxster, Maserati Gransport, Lotus Elise 111R and class rivals Mini Cooper S and the VW Golf GTi, to finish in joint second place in Evo’s Car of the Year 2004, behind and alongside two cars costing twice and four times the price.
Evo tested 15 cars in total, which is its biggest line up to date for the competition, with the Clio Renaultsport 182 Cup being narrowly beaten to the top spot by the £30,000 Lotus Exige and overall winner, the £60,000 Porsche 911 S.
John Barker, Evo’s motoring editor and part of the judging panel, hailed the Clio Renaultsport 182 Cup as being, "the best hot hatch ever, unequivocally", which is high praise indeed, especially given the competition the car was up against.
Fellow judge and Editor of Evo magazine, Peter Tomalin also piled on the compliments for the Clio Renaultsport 182 Cup; "I had the most incredible drive in the Clio. It’s just so playful and so alert, you can feel every tiny response to the steering, the throttle, the brakes. It really is that good."
Whilst the Porsche 911 S could narrowly hold off the Clio Renaultsport 182 Cup from scooping top honours, the 182 Cup did beat off some impressive models, including the recently launched VW Golf GTi and one of its similar sized competitors, Mini Cooper S, which finished in seventh and eight respectively in the competition.
The Clio Renaultsport 182 Cup finished well ahead of the New Porsche Boxster, Lotus 111R, Impreza Type 25, VW Golf GTi, Mini Cooper S, Evo MR-340, Maserati Gransport, Mercedes SLK350, Vauxhall VX220R, Monaro VXR, Ariel Atom and Audi RS6 Plus.
These latest accolades for Clio Renaultsport 182 Cup’s has topped off what has been a remarkable year all round for Clio Renaultsport, with rave reviews for both the Clio Renaultsport 182 launched at the start of the year, as well as the Cup version and the awesome Clio Renaultsport V6 255. It has also been a successful year in terms of sales with the UK continuing to be the biggest market in Europe of Clio Renaultsports.
If you want to get your hands on ‘Britain’s Best Budget Performance car" and "the best hot hatch ever", the Clio Renaultsport 182 Cup is on sale now at £13,800 on the road.Published 11 December 2004