Renault is hoping this new Clio will allow a new, wider audience to enjoy rallying. It’s the Renaultsport R3 Access, which takes the successful R3 Maxi rally car as its base but offers a rallying campaign that’s two thirds cheaper.
The Access isn’t too different to the Maxi, with the six-speed sequential gears and limited slip diff lifted straight from the pricier car. The engine is derived from the 2-litre motor from the Clio Renaultsport 197, offering 197bhp and 158lb ft. Ample in a car that weighs just over a ton at 1080kg (unladen).
The suspension is pretty similar to the 197, too, with the Access developed exclusively for tarmac rallying. It gets Blistein dampers at each corner and uses the braking system from the Renaultsport road car.
In France the car costs €32,600 pre-tax, so anyone wishing to plump for an R3 Access and take it rallying should expect to pay around £25k, with cost of competing ranked at around £13 per km. There is also the option of upgrading chassis, brakes and engine via Premium kits for an extra outlay.