Clio V6 255

Year: 2003 Engine: 3.0-litre V6, 255bhp 0-60mph: 5.8 seconds Price: £26,995 (new)

A long, sweeping left hander, the tarmac is wet and the speedo is touching 100mph. The car feels stable and with plenty of grip to spare, we squeeze the throttle. Suddenly the car has swapped ends and we’re spinning off the track at a tangent, finishing 100 metres away unscathed in the middle of a field. A lucky escape.

The Clio V6 comes with a fearsome reputation, but it’s not until you’ve pushed beyond the limit that you know why. Creating a mid-engined hatchback has to be one of the looniest ideas ever thought of, but that’s what makes this car so special. Driveit at 80 per cent, and the wide stance and weight of the engine give it sure-footed poise. But push too hard, and the physics take over – thanks to the short wheelbase and all that weight over the rear axle.

In the flesh, the styling is jaw-dropping. With its extra-wide bodywork and gaping air intakes, it turns heads like a machine costing 10 times the price.

Twist the key, and the cabin is filled with a V6 rumble. Plant your foot, and at low revs there’s a slow swell of acceleration. Pass 5,000rpm, though, and the engine comes on song, firing you into the distance at a speed you never thought possible in a supermini.

Most Popular

New MG2 will beat Volkswagen to the baby electric car market
MG badge
News

New MG2 will beat Volkswagen to the baby electric car market

MG has confirmed it is working on an entry-level electric car to rival Citroen e-C3 and new Fiat Panda
29 Feb 2024
Car Deal of the Day: new razor-sharp Toyota C-HR hybrid SUV for £257 a month
Toyota C-HR 2.0 Hybrid GR Sport front corner static shot
News

Car Deal of the Day: new razor-sharp Toyota C-HR hybrid SUV for £257 a month

The recently-launched second generation of Toyota’s funky hybrid SUV is our Deal of the Day for 29th February
29 Feb 2024
New £20m Rolls-Royce Arcadia Droptail is the ultimate in opulence
Rolls Royce Arcadia - front static
News

New £20m Rolls-Royce Arcadia Droptail is the ultimate in opulence

Arcadia is the third model in Rolls-Royce’s exclusive Droptail commission, and it doesn’t come cheap
29 Feb 2024