Re­nault Clio RS200

The Clio track car fra­ter­nity may not like it, but this ’bagged, wide-arch 280bhp Me­gane-pow­ered RS200 is get­ting at­ten­tion for all the right rea­sons…

Fast Car - - Ed Speak -

A fully cus­tomised, wide-arched Clio. Is it 2005? Nope it’s 2018 and it’s awe­some.

Shoot­ing a Fast Car fea­ture in a busy city cen­tre is al­ways guaranteed to draw a crowd, es­pe­cially when you’re block­ing the road. But to­day it seems that ev­ery nut-job within a five-mile ra­dius of Stokes Croft, Bris­tol is head­ing our way. “I used to work for McLaren, you know,” says a dude with no teeth and a can of cider… His mate asks if he can “book our taxi”. He’s not jok­ing.

This place may lack some of the gloss of the more gen­tri­fied ar­eas of Bris­tol, but there’s a nice vibe and the ur­ban art­work cov­er­ing the walls looks bang on. The lo­cal spray can crew have cer­tainly been busy – even a dumped fridge freezer has been tagged.

Talk­ing of dumped… the car we’re here to shoot is rock­ing some epic lows. But un­like many cars to­day, there’s more to it than a set of posh rims and air-ride.

This Oak Green Clio is a proper old-skool cus­tom build. It’s loaded with one-off touches and owner Kieran Wil­liams-Carr makes no apolo­gies for it. “Be­ing an RS200, some of the Clio fo­rum guys think I’ve ru­ined it, but I didn’t build the car for them,” he laughs.

Dropped on the deck, with some tasty BBS splits tucked up tight in the arches, it looks al­most as wide as it is long. Given the amount of at­ten­tion it’s get­ting, you’d think it had just landed from Mars, rather than the slightly less ex­otic Taun­ton.

“I’ve had the car for three years. Orig­i­nally it was white with a few mods and I took it to lots of shows and meets,” says Kieran. But then he de­cided to re­ally go for it.

“I’d al­ways wanted to do wide arches so I spoke to Cus­tom Paint Works in Stoke.” Over a nice brew and some Hob­nobs, a plan was formed that would trans­form the Clio from mild to wild. “We de­cided to

“I’d al­ways wanted to do wide arches, so I spoke to Cus­tom Paint Works...”

fit cus­tom arches that would al­low some wide wheels to be fit­ted and the rest of the ex­te­rior would be smoothed,” ex­plains Kieran. The work took the best part of a year, as it wasn’t sim­ply a case of buy­ing a kit and fit­ting it to the car. Ev­ery­thing had to be care­fully mea­sured, cut and then trial-fit­ted to see how it would look. It was also fit­ted in for mates’ rates around other jobs.

The hard­est de­ci­sion was what colour to paint it. “I wanted some­thing no one else had done on a Clio and even­tu­ally set­tled on this cus­tom Oak Green, says Kieran.” It’s an Audi colour, but with ex­tra in­gre­di­ents to help it re­ally pop in the sun. Fresh from a de­tail­ing ses­sion, it looks ab­so­lutely im­mac­u­late and shinier than a re­ally shiny thing.

With a set of spa­cious arches avail­able it would’ve been rude not to fill them with some wide hoops; the 11.5x17in BBS splits look in­sane at the rear. The 9.5in fronts aren’t shy ei­ther, with pearl cream cen­tres and black chrome hard­ware. With the air-ride dropped, the rims sit per­fectly on the arches.

Although the Clio RS200 came with a lively 197bhp engine, it was nat­u­rally as­pi­rated, so was never go­ing to make a lot more power. One of the eas­i­est ways to get more grunt is to drop in a tur­bocharged Me­gane engine.

The 2.0-litre F4RT unit (yep, it kinda says fart!) packs a healthy punch in stock trim, but Kieran has livened it up with some choice mods. There’s a cus­tom 3in turbo-back ex­haust sys­tem, which frees up a re­stric­tion and also makes a de­cent sound when you tickle it. A beefy front-mount in­ter­cooler keeps the in­let temps in check and there’s a RamAir/K-Tec in­duc­tion kit that makes a great “braaaap” sound when you rev it. It’s all fin­ished off with a K-Tec map, which in­creases the fun to the tune of 280bhp. Sweet. It also de­liv­ers a whole lot more torque, so there’s no longer any need to rev the tits off it to get any­where fast.

Pop the bon­net and you’ll find cream engine cov­ers, which liven up the lit­tle bay. “Peo­ple have asked me why I fit­ted a tuned Me­gane engine to a car like this on air-bags,” says Kieran, “but there’s noth­ing to say you have to have a slow show car, is there,” he adds. Fair point. “I’ve had haters on the Clio fo­rums be­cause it’s a Sport, but it’s my car, so I’ve done it my way.” Good man. Af­ter all, isn’t that what car cul­ture is all about – push­ing the bound­aries and do­ing things your own way?

If we thought the out­side was get­ting lots of at­ten­tion, as soon as we open the tail­gate to shoot the in­side, even more lo­cals ap­pear. Most of them mis­take the air-ride tanks for ni­trous, but they all seem mighty im­pressed and rightly so. The boot build is a top job and shows off the air-ride es­sen­tials to a tee; it’s all colour co-or­di­nated and even the rear cage is painted cream to match.

The front has been fully worked over and fea­tures an iPad with cus­tom dash hous­ing, again done in cream. A tasty Royal steer­ing wheel and Sparco seats add to the pleas­ant am­biance.

Cars on air-ride need a low an­gle to make them look their best, so some­times you need to lie on your front to get the best shot. Al­ways pre­pared to go the ex­tra mile for a Fast Car fea­ture, I grab the shot and must con­fess to feel­ing quite pleased with my­self. I then re­alise that I’m ly­ing in dried piss. Note to self: don’t lie on the floor out­side a drum and bass club again.

Kieran’s Clio is one of those cars that looks good from ev­ery an­gle and it’s clear that a huge amount of time, ef­fort and money has gone into cre­at­ing this truly one-off ride. The track slags may hate, but we one hun­dred per­cent rate. Job’s a good’un.

Check out those arches...

Pearl cream de­tails are ev­ery­where

BBS splits in cus­tom pearl cream are 11.5in at the rear!

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