ABOUT CLIO WILLIAMS

In 1993, Renault launched the Clio Williams as a limited edition of 3,800 cars (1,300 more than they needed for homologation purposes) with each car bearing a numbered plaque on the dash. These sold out so quickly that Renault ended up building 1,600 more.

After the first series, due to the demand, Renault built the Williams 2 and 3, with more than 12,000 eventually being built. However, many new road cars were directly converted to race cars and when damaged replaced with another converted road car, which means that the actual number of road cars is significantly lower than the figures suggest.

The car was named after the then Renault-powered Formula One team WilliamsF1, though Williams had nothing to do with the design or engineering of this Clio. The modifications to the Clio 16S on which it was based were the work of Renault Sport, Renault's motorsport division. Nevertheless, this car had a Formula One link by being the sport's Safety Car in 1996.

The naturally aspirated 1,998 cc (2.0 L; 121.9 cu in) DOHC 4 valves per cylinder fed by Multipoint fuel injection Inline-four engine, was rated at 147 PS (145 bhp; 108 kW) at 6,100 rpm and 175 N⋅m (129 lb⋅ft) at 4,500 rpm of torque. It has a top speed of 215 km/h (134 mph) [9] equipped with performance-tuned ride and handling. Renault later released the Williams 2 and Williams 3 special editions, much to the chagrin of those owners who had been assured of the exclusivity of the "original" Williams. One common mistake people can make is thinking that the 2.0 16V (F7R) used in the Williams is simply a bored out 1.8 16V (F7P), whereas, in reality the large engine had different size valves, cams, stroked crank and engine oil cooler. Other differences between the Williams and the Clio 16S it is based on include a wider front track with wishbones similar, but not the same as the Renault 19, wider Speedline alloys, uprated (JC5) gearbox, bespoke four-to-one manifold, firmer suspension, and some cosmetic differences on the exterior and interior.

The differences between the three versions of the Williams were largely a reflection of phase changes across the Clio range, e.g. the gradual addition of enhanced safety features and cosmetic variations. Other than this, the Williams 1 and 2 had no sunroof and were painted in 449 Sports Blue. The final Williams 3 was painted in a slightly brighter shade of blue (432 Monaco Blue) and finally gained a sunroof which had long been standard on virtually all previous Clios. The original Williams was the lightest of the three, lacking the electrics necessary for the sunroof or the mirrors, and was the only one to support a metal plaque stating the build number.

Respected motoring journalists consistently rate the Williams as one of the very best hot hatches ever made, regardless of era. Its many accolades included 3rd place in EVO magazine's "Greatest front-wheel-drive car ever" feature in 2006 behind the newer Clio 182 Trophy and Honda Integra Type-R and 6th place in EVO's Car Of The Decade feature in 2004.

The Renault Clio Williams was and still is a very popular rally car. The basic racing version (Gr.N) had racing suspension, different engine management, and a more free flowing exhaust. Power output was around 165 PS (121 kW). Roll cage was made by Matter France. Bucket seats were made by Sabelt.

The next step up was the Gr.A car, which was fitted with 16″ Speedline 2012 rims (with optional extractors), further improvements on suspension and more tuned engine producing between 205–220 PS (151–162 kW). Front brakes were also updated with 323 mm discs and four-pot Alcon brake calipers.

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