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Superb car, but why modify it?



  Clio 172.
Evening all! I’m thrilled to say I took delivery of this stunning 2002 172 Cup yesterday and thought I’d scan through these forums. What I struggle with, is the number of people looking to improve, what Renault spent millions of pounds, developing into a superb homologated track car. Are you really sure that your driving skills, have already got the maximum out of the car, such that you need to chase spending major cash improving the car. To be fair, I’m sorry, but I’d doubt it…
 

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Ruth Baxter

ClioSport Club Member
  BMW e30 M3/ Clio V6/
Hi, I think it’s all about making your own mark on the car be it a Clio or something else, it’s very similar to decorating a house, it’s all about what you like. It doesn’t mean it’s right or wrong. As long as you enjoy it.
 
Congrats on the purchase!

This isn’t a Pagani Zonda, it’s a cheap mass-produced hatchback built to a cost. Mainstream manufacturers inevitably make compromises for savings, production efficiency and to ensure their cars appeal to as many people as possible. Modifications allow you to personalise a car to your tastes and address limitations built into the original design.

A lot of people find the seating position on these cars less than optimal, so why not change it to something that fits you better?

Steering feel and turn-in can be drastically improved with a smaller wheel, added front camber and a rear roll bar, so why not?

I recently installed an LSD. Am I chasing lap times? No. Does it add to my enjoyment of the car? Definitely.

i understand and respect why people prefer to keep cars OEM, but it’s also fair to say that sympathetic mods can objectively improve these cars not to mention sustain your interest after you’ve owned a car for a while.
 
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jameswrx

ClioSport Club Member
Honestly I felt the same as you when I had my totally original 172 but I bought another one that had some mods already done and... it’s even more fun to drive without the bus steering wheel and a bit more induction noise. Not overly scientific but I definitely look forward to driving my new car more than the std one and it’s more enjoyable on the roads I travel.

The single best mod for them is a 330-350mm steering wheel (I favour suede) although it does make them more of a handful on undulating backroads. Removing the seat risers could also be considered a mod and that’s another worthwhile job.
 
  Clio 172.
Because modifying cars is fun, and because some of the standard parts are pap.
That is a good shout to be fair. Tech evolves and the design is over 20 years old, so there’s a potential to improve with what we have learnt since. To be fair, I’m no slouch! I’ve raced Touring Cars, historic GT cars, let alone miriad laps on track, test and practice days and currently an on-track Supercar Instructor. You really do not need to do a great deal with the 172 Cup at all, other than a clear track and real balls to really overdrive it, even a standard car! I’d prob put vented/grooved discs and EBC green pads on the front. They did come with roll cage, exterior/ interior emergency fire system and electrical cutoffs, and rear seat removal as factory options, so keen to explore those options too. At 17 I’d often drive my dads beautiful MK1 Golf GTI 1.8 and the 172 Cup has that simplicity in its genes, but is on a completely fxxxing different level handling and performance-wise and is overall probably the best of the hot hatches.
 
  Clio 172.
Honestly I felt the same as you when I had my totally original 172 but I bought another one that had some mods already done and... it’s even more fun to drive without the bus steering wheel and a bit more induction noise. Not overly scientific but I definitely look forward to driving my new car more than the std one and it’s more enjoyable on the roads I travel.

The single best mod for them is a 330-350mm steering wheel (I favour suede) although it does make them more of a handful on undulating backroads. Removing the seat risers could also be considered a mod and that’s another worthwhile job.
Seat risers?? I’ve not found them yet, so no idea what that means lol! Why remove them, without sounding thick! 👍
 
  Clio 172.
Hi, I think it’s all about making your own mark on the car be it a Clio or something else, it’s very similar to decorating a house, it’s all about what you like. It doesn’t mean it’s right or wrong. As long as you enjoy it.
Yeah, fair play, sorry if I sound ignorant. I’m looking forward to doing more laps in it, then decide where it needs improving. What’s the max an engine has been bored out to? 🤔
 
  Clio 172.
Congrats on the purchase!

This isn’t a Pagani Zonda, it’s a cheap mass-produced hatchback built to a cost. Mainstream manufacturers inevitably make compromises for savings, production efficiency and to ensure their cars appeal to as many people as possible. Modifications allow you to personalise a car to your tastes and address limitations built into the original design.

A lot of people find the seating position on these cars less than optimal, so why not change it to something that fits you better?

Steering feel and turn-in can be drastically improved with a smaller wheel, added front camber and a rear roll bar, so why not?

I recently installed an LSD. Am I chasing lap times? No. Does it add to my enjoyment of the car? Definitely.

i understand and respect why people prefer to keep cars OEM, but it’s also fair to say that sympathetic mods can objectively improve these cars not to mention sustain your interest after you’ve owned a car for a while.t
 
  Clio 172.
Thanks for the response, much appreciated! So it looks like I’ve walked straight into a major learning curve in Cup ownership and you guys are clearly on a different level and all over it!! Looking forward to learning more. Cheers! 🍻
 

jameswrx

ClioSport Club Member
Seat risers?? I’ve not found them yet, so no idea what that means lol! Why remove them, without sounding thick! 👍

Where the front seats bolt to the car, between the seat frame and the floor pan there’s 4 plastic spacers which raise the seat slightly.

It’s just one of the two most common complaints of these cars, steering wheel and seat being too high.
 

R3k1355

ClioSport Club Member
The 172 Cup is pretty much perfectly setup for road driving, maybe the 182 Trophy is a touch better with the Sachs suspension but I'd wager there's very little in it.

Lots of people take them on track, where you start needing things like roll cages, bucket seat and harness, adjustable suspension, better brakes etc etc etc
 

Crazylegs

ClioSport Club Member
  Clio 182
I do agree with the OP on this.

I've absolutely butchered the suspension on numerous past cars and it ruins the car's characteristics. The Clio is excellent out of the box, I think if you're a semi-decent driver or good on track then you can really maximise a small car like the 172/182.
 

dave120

ClioSport Club Member
Looks like a nice example, any more pics?

That style of exhaust doesn't suit the 1*2 but that's my opinion only.

When it comes to Mods, I suppose its all about finding the right balance. The Cup is great out of the box but I think there are always small improvements that can be made to a mass produced car.
 

Mcaff

ClioSport Club Member
I loved mine when it was close to standard also, It has now become over time fairly well modified from the parts catalog at Pure motorsport and other parts at the recommendation of other users on here. Most of the parts that have been changed are due to the standard parts failing due to age or modified as they are NLA from Renault.

For example engine blows up so why not rebuild it with 197 cams and all the other bits while you're there, oh suspension bushes need changed and Powerflex items cost the same or cheaper than Renaults alternative.. why not. Makes for a fun experience. Ive always said id love a nice standard 1*2 to just potter about in however I have the feeling it would just end up the same as the one I currently have with all the "CS.net Must have mods" its just better.
 

adamlstr

ClioSport Club Member
..because some factory bits of the 172 Cup are terrible.

Engine mounts, for example.

If you leave the rest of the car standard, get the standard engine mounts in the bin. Anyone who's driven with (properly installed) Vibratechnics engine mounts will tell you how much they transform the experience for the better. Less tramlining, less gearstick movement, more positive acceleration, more stability under braking, etc.

Best thing I did to my 172 Cup, by far.
 

alistairolsen

ClioSport Club Member
Thing with the clio modifying world is that the bits people modify generally are not typical of the modified car scene.

No ones pulling off cup suspension and installing cheap coilovers, in fact most people fit OE cup dampers with mild springs (Grams/cooksport/eibach) unless they're seriously tracking the cars.

Wheels rarely see size increases, people swap with the same fitment for looks, or to 15s with the same rolling radius for trackday rubber.

Most of the rest of the mods are seating position, touch points/controls or weight saving.
 

JB21

ClioSport Club Member
Seating height position...shite!
Steering wheel position....shite!

Also on track a ham fisted chimp would get to the limitations of the OE spec tyres and brake pads.

Apart from the above items, I agree they don't need much to be an entertaining track toy, as long as the alignment is good and all bushes & suspension components are fresh.
 

McGherkin

ClioSport Club Member
DO NOT fit EBC Greenstuff pads. You will probably make it worse. Something like DS1.11 or similar will be far better.

I actually agree in some regards. If you're driving a car exclusively on the road then, for example, fitting a set of cheap coilovers (or even decent ones depending) will harm its road handling, which is primarily what Renault's engineers were focused on, but improve its ability on track. I have some very decent coilovers on my daily driver and whilst the feel is far more sporty, on a bumpy, twisty road there simply isn't the amount of travel that the original suspension had. The stock exhaust is nice and quiet, but made from mild steel so rots for fun, and will also not make enough noise for some, which is a personal preference.

At the end of the day, it's a car that cost £15k new. It's not going to have the same quality of suspension that a Ferrari has, or the lightweight materials of a Lotus, or the horsepower of an Aston. For those wishing to fork out, there's always going to be room to improve it.
 

Porl

ClioSport Club Member
The only thing I'd change on mine is the ride height as I get a bit of scrubbing on hard cornering. Apart from that the coilovers are better than cup suspension and much better than cooksport springs were. The other mod I would definitely do again is the seats. It so much better to drive sat in the car rather than on it. How Renault got it so wrong with millions spent on development god only knows.
 

RustyMojo

ClioSport Club Member
Bit of an odd post really, why would anyone extend their house? Other than to make it fit their needs better. These are old cars, that were hardly at the forefront of technology when they were new. That doesn’t make them bad, just as they have aged and technology has improved you can for, modest money, improve the experience. The failings of the 1*2 are well publicised and even discussed in this thread. For me it’s more of a question..why wouldn’t you improve and modify the car if it gives you enjoyment and a better experience? Sure everyone may not be a driving god, like the OP. But it’s all relative, even if you are a poor driver you will feel the benefits of some of/most of the upgrades people make to clios.
 
  172
The requirements, reliability & cost points above hit the nail on the head so no need to repeat, but the talent argument is easy too. Generally you gain most of your ultimate ability, in anything, relatively quickly.

At this point gentleman drivers in historic sports car racing go and buy the final evolution of an ex-works car rather than continuing to campaign their earlier privateer-built car, and track day goers replace the OEM’s road-optimised suspension for track-focused items.

You don’t tell people to get better at Tetris instead of buying a bigger car, or tell people to not bother shopping at Waitrose until they’ve mastered cookery.
 

dann2707

ClioSport Club Member
What I struggle with, is the number of people looking to improve,
I’d prob put vented/grooved discs and EBC green pads on the front.
They did come with roll cage, exterior/ interior emergency fire system and electrical cutoffs, and rear seat removal as factory options, so keen to explore those options too.


What a strange post.

I bet you love chicken, but hate chicken, but love chicken too.
 

Porl

ClioSport Club Member
I've never seen a 172 cup with factory roll cage or fire suppression etc. Unless your thinking about the Clio elf UK Cup cars. Yeah race cars probably don't need modifying. Unless you want to drive them on the road?
 

Steve1986

ClioSport Club Member
  Clio 182
Evening all! I’m thrilled to say I took delivery of this stunning 2002 172 Cup yesterday and thought I’d scan through these forums. What I struggle with, is the number of people looking to improve, what Renault spent millions of pounds, developing into a superb homologated track car. Are you really sure that your driving skills, have already got the maximum out of the car, such that you need to chase spending major cash improving the car. To be fair, I’m sorry, but I’d doubt it…
You use, far, too many, commas. Your post reads like it was written by Stevie from Malcolm In The Middle.

Renault spent millions developing a car that they could sell for a profit, not developing the absolute pinnacle of motoring perfection available for ~£15k. Despite that, they still managed to make a very entertaining car to drive, but there will always be room for improvement by people not worried about profit margins and sales figures.

For example I've just fitted some lightweight alloys to my 182 and saved 5kg per corner, which is something Renault could have done from the factory but chose not to because it would have either increased the cost of the car, or lowered their profit margins.
 
  Clio 172.
Bit of an odd post really, why would anyone extend their house? Other than to make it fit their needs better. These are old cars, that were hardly at the forefront of technology when they were new. That doesn’t make them bad, just as they have aged and technology has improved you can for, modest money, improve the experience. The failings of the 1*2 are well publicised and even discussed in this thread. For me it’s more of a question..why wouldn’t you improve and modify the car if it gives you enjoyment and a better experience? Sure everyone may not be a driving god, like the OP. But it’s all relative, even if you are a poor driver you will feel the benefits of some of/most of the upgrades people make to clios.
Sorry, I don’t profess to be a driving god at all, but I do have a good feel for it…
 

RustyMojo

ClioSport Club Member
Sorry, I don’t profess to be a driving god at all, but I do have a good feel for it…
To be fair, I’m no slouch! I’ve raced Touring Cars, historic GT cars, let alone miriad laps on track, test and practice days and currently an on-track Supercar Instructor.
I mean to be honest this reads as a ‘my Dad’s bigger than yours kind of statement’

Coupled with some fairly wild assumptions that - clio owners are not getting anywhere near the optimum performance out of their cars to warrant a modification. I mean it’s a great way to welcome yourself to the community.
 

dann2707

ClioSport Club Member
I mean to be honest this reads as a ‘my Dad’s bigger than yours kind of statement’

Coupled with some fairly wild assumptions that - clio owners are not getting anywhere near the optimum performance out of their cars to warrant a modification. I mean it’s a great way to welcome yourself to the community.
Exactly my thoughts. We are a great bunch here but I fully agree.

It was a very bizarre opening post!
 


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