Fast, compact, iconic: Renault Clio Williams

The name Williams is closely associated with motorsports, particularly Formula 1, where they still operate today. In the 1990s, the racing team had a close partnership with the French automaker Renault, utilizing their power units. Renault valued this collaboration to the extent that they added the Williams name to one of their small hatchbacks - the Clio.

However, the Williams sports team had nothing to do with this vehicle. The development of the Clio Williams took place in the Renault Sport division, which already had a sporty version of the Clio, the 16V or 16S, intended for the domestic French market. The Clio Williams didn't stop at just carrying the F1 name. In 1996, this small Renault even served as a safety car at the races.

But let's go back to the beginning, to 1993 when Renault introduced the hot model Clio in a limited edition of 3,800 cars. It was primarily aimed at homologating the sporty version of the Clio for rallying in Group A, where it was necessary to produce 2,500 units in 12 months. However, the Clio Williams sold out so quickly that Renault produced another 1,600 units, totaling 5,400 vehicles in the first series, each with a plaque and a serial number. Even after the first series was sold out, the demand for this vehicle didn't diminish, so they decided to produce two more series in France. In the end, more than 12,000 units of the Clio Williams were produced. Many of them were immediately converted into sports cars, and this included vehicles that were damaged during races. Motorsport teams didn't bother repairing the car; they simply bought another Clio.

The Renault Clio Williams has a 2.0-liter inline-four engine under its front-opening hood, utilizing two camshafts (4 valves per cylinder) with DOHC timing. Thanks to modern 4-point fuel injection, the engine reaches its power peak at 6,100 RPM with 147 horsepower (108 kW). It produces a torque of 175 Nm at 4,500 RPM. The little blue Clio can accelerate to 215 kilometers per hour, an impressive figure for a hatchback weighing less than a ton. However, the 2.0-liter (F7R) from the Williams is not just a bored-out version of the 1.8-liter 16V engine (F7P) from the regular Clio 16V. The F7R has larger valves, different camshafts, a higher piston stroke, and an oil cooler. Differences can also be found in the body. The Williams received a wider front axle with a similar suspension to the R19 model, wider Speedline wheels, an adapted 5-speed manual transmission, tuned 4-1 exhaust manifolds, a stiffer suspension, and some minor cosmetic details.

The advertised car was manufactured in 1995 within the first series. It was initially purchased as a new car in France, and it's been owned by the third owner since 2020. The Clio Williams underwent a partial renovation, albeit it had a minor accident on the front right side. During the bodywork inspection, the engine was disassembled, received new parts, and its condition was checked before being put back in place. The body was also repaired and repainted in the typical "Methyl Blue" color. Therefore, it's in excellent condition. The gearbox and gear shifting mechanism were also inspected and fitted with a new clutch.

The interior is almost like new, and the French seats with textile upholstery haven't lost any of their comfort. This Clio Williams has driven just under 94,000 kilometers. The seller offers a 6-month warranty for the vehicle's mechanical parts with the option to extend it. The price for the Renault Clio Williams is €33,000.

As for a Williams in Slovakia, we know of one for sale, but like many of these cars, it has undergone a conversion into a race car. Another piece is in the Czech Republic, from the first series, almost in its original condition except for modified air intake and larger front brakes, with a price tag of €24,000.

Text: Mateo
Photo: Classic Trader

 


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