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Youre not just talking about another 30bhp in a car that weighs the same, youve also got wider tracks, superior cooling, better breathing and a four-bar torsion set-up at the rear (two-bar on the non-wide arch Clios).
The RSi is a good motor, but its basically a normal Clio chassis with some tasty bits bolted on. The 16v is a bona fide hot hatch - developed with Renault Sport and raced competitively back in the early 1990s.
The difference is not as drastic as the 1.6 16v Clio 2 is to the 172; more like the performance difference between a 330i and an M3.
I went to the Ace cafe in November, and this bloke with a Rsi was giving it, he said his car bottoms out at 140mph, which i think is a load of Sh*T and he reckoned his motor was better than a 16v. We will see !
The 1991-1997 RSi was, as far as I know, a variant of the 95bhp 1.8 (1783cc, then 1794cc) F3P engine. My Renault sources quote this engine, which was also found in the early 1.8 RT and 1.8 Baccara (luxury model), as having 95bhp @ 5700rpm and 105lb/ft of torque @ 2800rpm. However, Ive also seen this engine quoted as available in 110bhp form - which I believe was available in the 96-on Phase 3 shape (when the 16v and Willy were discontinued). This latter engine had a slightly higher compression ratio.
The Autocar test for the 1996 RSi in 110bhp spec is 0-60 in 8.9 secs and a top whack of 118mph, its 30-70 is quoted as 9.2secs and the 50-70 in 5th as 11.2 secs.
Meanwhile, a 1991 test for the Clio 16v is 0-60 in 7.4 secs, top whack of 127mph, a 30-70 in 7.1 secs and 50-70 in 5th as 8.9 secs.
Im guessing that the RSi would pick up as well as the 16v would out of its post 4500rpm power band (16v has 116-119lb/ft torque at 4250rpm), but once the 16v hit that power band it would thoroughly demolish it.
Im not saying the RSi is slow - my mate has one. Mines not a standard Valver, so it wouldnt be fair to compare. But my mate has a bog standard 16v and when he raced the RSi it wasnt a close one. In other words, he toasted it - as would be expected by looking at the figures in my last post.
Those mods listed above wont usually give a noticeable power gain - certainly not to Valver levels anyway.
i had a guy in the same solour car as me, pull up next to me and it was an rsi.. he was well lookin at my car.. so he obviously knew what it was... i gave him a smile and then the race was on...
lights changed.. his low down 8 valve torque went and out accelerated me off the start.. - u could almost see the smile of victory across his face - then i hit 4000 rpm and BOOM!! i shot past him like he was standin still and continued to accelerate away.. as we came up to the next set of lights he turned off, but smiled and gave a wave to aknowledge...
Cheers for info everyone, a certain friend of mine is about to get destroyed by my black 16ver. Oh this is gonna be sweet! ps. I wish more people would aknowledge after a race instead, of bein ignorant.