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Feature | Renault Clio II RS "Ragnotti"

31w ago

2.5K

The RenaultSport Clio “Ragnotti” is named after French rally legend Jean Ragnotti, multiple winner of the Rally de Monte-Carlo. It had a production limited to 300 cars and they were exclusively sold in France. Launched in 2002, this special edition is 80kg lighter than a normal Clio RS172 and sports a modified suspension setup. Outside of France a larger amount of cars with the same specifications were sold under the name “Clio RS172 Cup”.

Owner: Stefan Lust

Author: Sim Van Gyseghem

Photography: Sim Van Gyseghem

Track focussed

To achieve the kerb weight of just under a tonne, ESP, ABS, air conditioning, side airbags and xenon headlights have been removed and the engine bay sound proofing has been replaced by a lightweight version. Renault even installed thinner front door windows, a non-damping and non-heat reflective windscreen and removed the rear wiper and spare wheel. All these adjustments make the Clio Ragnotti weigh in at 996kg.

The Clio Ragnotti has understated looks but is a very rare model indeed.

To further emphasize its hardcore hot hatch theme, Renault gave the Ragnotti its own unique suspension setup to achieve ultimate driving efficiency. It is equipped with different shocks and sits 3mm lower than a regular RS. Caster has increased from 1°30” to 3°30”, track width has increased by 20mm in the front and 10mm in the rear. This lower and stiffer setup makes the Ragnotti’s steering more responsive, while obtaining better stability on the straights and while cornering.

It's all in the details.

On a visual level, this limited edition was only available in the exclusive colour “Bleu Mondial”, which returns in the dashboard trim. Aerodynamics have been made more efficient with a lower front lip and longer rear spoiler, and the front arches have been widened to accommodate the 16” Speedline Turini rims, which are another Clio RS Ragnotti tell-tale.re of the "Ragnotti"

Renault found it unnecessary to make any alterations to the engine. The F4R 2.0 16v engine from the RS172, which produces 127kw (170bhp) at 6250rpm and 200Nm at 5400rpm, is the same one that can be found in the special edition Ragnotti, ensuring availability of spare parts and avoiding potential reliability issues.

The combination of the aerodynamic adjustments, weight savings and suspension setup allows this Clio to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in only 6.9 seconds. That’s 0.4 seconds faster than its “regular” RenaultSport brother.

A French domestic market exclusive in the Netherlands.

This particular Ragnotti was shipped to The Netherlands immediately after delivery, essentially making it the only originally Dutch Clio RS Ragnotti. It has one previous owner and is now co-owned by father and son. Already RenaultSport fans, they heard through word-of-mouth of this rare Clio sitting at a local garage. They’d never heard about the Clio Ragnotti before, so after quickly looking up what this meant, the car was bought without any hesitation. This was september 2017 and now, six months later, they have no regret of buying this unique car whatsoever. Except for an oil change, dent removal and rust prevention, all they did was enjoy the car.

Apart from the sunroof, this particular Clio is entirely stock. With only 80.000km on the clock and being taken good care of by its current owners, this French hot hatch should have a long life ahead of itself.

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