Merc’s entry-level hot hatch has grown a boot to take on the Audi S3 Saloon
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£27,905 when new
Remember the Clio Williams? Of course you do. Even if you were too young to have been there, it’s one of those cars that has carried its reputation across the years. So it’s rather astounding to report that Renault seems to have forgotten all about the wee Willy. You’d imagine that, keen to celebrate yet another stellar season with Red Bull, RenaultSport would pop the corks and pull out the stops, especially if it’s charging £28,245 - some £2,700 more than the standard Cup model that this is based on. OK, so the Twilight Blue paint is exclusive, some stickers have been added and one or two extra options boxes ticked. But that’s all. No boost to the 261bhp turbo engine, no tweak to the suspension, no treats to boast to your mates about. This is a stickers ‘n’ trim upgrade which Red Bull has had nothing to do with (OK, so neither did Williams with the Clio, but at least Renault’s motorsports dept got stuck right in). What’s galling is this is still a terrific car to drive, arguably the toughest, most focused hot hatch out there, making it even harder to accept that a company capable of such greatness would choose the easy way out.