Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A new Renault Clio Williams?

    Will Williams-Renault F1 tie-up spawn a new generation of the iconic 90s hot hatch?

    The 1992 Renault Clio Williams is renowned as one of the very greatest hot hatches ever, born in the year that the Williams-Renault F1 team clinched the F1 constructors title for the very first time.

    And now, with yesterday's announcement that Williams F1 cars will be powered by Renault engines next year, a new Clio Williams hot hatch could be on the cards.

    With the ink barely dry on the F1 engine deal, any Renault road car bearing the Williams name would be some way off, but our sources at Renault were already relishing the prospect of working with Williams on an even-hotter version of their delicious Clio 200, a car to celebrate the revival of one of the most successful partnerships in F1.

    "I think we'll see the impact [on Renault road cars] sooner rather than later," one Renault insider told us.

    And insiders were keen to stress that any Clio Williams would, unlike the blue-and-white Gordini versions rolling out across the Renault Sport range, be far more than a cosmetic overhaul.

    "It would need to be more extreme than the Gordini, a hotter car," our Renault source confirmed. "The Gordini line has done a good job attracting customers who wouldn't normally consider Renault Sport, but any Williams Renault would have to be one for the... enthusiasts."

    Of course, to imagine a new Clio Williams would be mere speculation, but luckily that's something we're rather good at. The original Clio Williams featured a 148bhp 2.0-litre naturally aspirated engine and was capable of cracking 62mph in 7.7 seconds, but any modern version would require far more potency: the stock Clio 200 already generates 197bhp.

    Gold wheels and blue paint are a must of course, as is the Clio's signature naturally-aspirated four-cylinder, but what else would you like to see from a new Clio Williams? Masses more power, or a hardcore weight-loss strategy?

    Get writing your shopping lists below. You never know, Williams and Renault Sport might just take your suggestions on board...

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