Just saying the longest Hi
I will start off with that I am an avid Mazda MX-5 fan so this is unusual for me to be on a Renault forum, although I am on Aussiefrogs already as I own a Peugeot 207 HDi Lemans as well. Between me and my Dad we have had 4 MX-5's 2xNB SE's, a NC LE and a ND GT. We recently sold off my previous NB SE and our newer ND with the NC being long gone so now only have my replacement NB SE that is pretty much just a pure turbocharged track pig with plates.
We really want the newer 2019 spec upgraded 135kw ND after driving a media one down in Tasmania, but don't exactly want to pay 45K+ for one that will be worth 25K 3 years later. We will have to wait a year or two for a good used one like we did with our recently sold ND. This has led us down the path of acquiring something different which ended up being a Renault Clio 3 RS Angel and Demon.
We did not even buy what I thought we were going to, I was looking at Peugeot 206 GTi 180's, Clio 2 182 Cups or possibly a Clio 3 197 R27 if I found one in the right condition for the right money,
In the end though my Dad watched a Clio 3 RS Angel and Demon tumble in price that we picked up last week from Adelaide. A Red one. Only 30000km's on the clock with a good service history and pretty good condition. Dad and I are both really picky so good condition means basically new car to the general public. I went halves with my Dad just like we did with the ND MX-5.
So joining the Renault brigade with track usage in mind is a bit left field for me, but was actually my idea. Basically I wanted something a bit more practical for use at MX-5 club tracks days that not only I am capable of driving. Something my Sister and Dad can also drive with out fear that my current MX-5 SE instils. Currently my Sister has been using her Kia Pro'Ceed which is surprisingly capable around Wakefield Park. I managed high 1'12's in it! The Clio will be a good substitute for her as all 3 of us can go down in it together and she can sell her car before it dive bombs in price, My Dad doesn't drive much, he more officiates but sometimes has a session out there.
We drove it back to Sydney, via the Grampians National Park, Bendigo and Canberra. No sore body parts at all. The Recaro's are really great for a long trip which I was sort of expecting based on other sport and arce seats I have had in other cars.
No rattles or any other problems either, It definitely drove the way a 30000km car should.
So after driving it 1600kms there is 1 thing I don't like. The normal headlights. are rubbish. At maximum height they still do not shine very far at all. The high beam is however excellent.
The only other thing I would say is that it is a bit thirsty considering we were mainly on dead flat 100km/h roads. We ranged between 7.8 to 9.0L/100km. The lower figure was when we had the air con on less, And these are measured figures at the bowser, not the in car ones which were within 0.2 anyway.
Even my track pig highly modified MX-5 SE can out do that, And yes that revs higher than the Renault at freeway speeds, 3400 vs 3100.
There are a few minor issues with the car, none of which the car is at fault, more previous owners/dealers plus us being very picky. We will likely rectify all of them over time.
Only 1 Card/Key thingo was supplied. Normally we always ask about this but some how completely forgot. As the car had 2 owners in QLD before being wholesale Auctioned to the dealer in Adelaide, I will have little chance in finding who has the 2nd key. Not looking forward to the cost of a new one, A bit odd considering every book and receipt was supplied with the car.
Unfortunately, the dealers mechanic work shop (FORD) had no Idea and replaced the tyres that still had 4mm of tread left with rubbish Chinese tyres that are just plain dangerous to drive on.
The funny thing is, they did not do it because of tread depth as that was fine, they did it because they thought the car had the wrong size fitted or so says the 120 point mechanical inspection report. The only problem is it had the correct 215/40/18 size and they put 215/45/18's on it!!! My guess is they saw 215/45/17 as per regular Clio 3's and mixed it up with 18's.
I will likely fix the tyres by the end of this week. Will end up with 225/40/18 boots. Most likely Dunlop Star Spec 2 or 3.
3 of the 4 rims have minor gutter rash which we knew about. Easy fix. I have done 3 sets of rims myself in the past and these look fairly straight forward as well.
The front bar is not fitted correctly to the left guard. It was taken off by the dealer to replace a radiator support bracket that apparently had corrosion according to the report. We saw it upon inspection and requested it be fixed. It also had loose bolts and missing clips under the bonnet, ie careless by the mechanic. 36 hours later when we go to pick it up, it still was not right (ie we know they hadn't taken the bar off to refit it) but at least it had the loose bolts tightened and clips fitted so it wasn't going to just fall off on the trip home. I will re-align it myself. It's not hard so I don't see why the dealer just didn't do it like they said they would.
My biggest concern being a ex QLD car was paint condition.
The Matte Red is actually in very good condition. It just needs a good proper clean, Will need to invest in some DR Beasley's products as that has been working wonders on a mates Veloster Matte finish.
The only paint issue the car has is actually the gloss black roof and mirrors. Both were faded and filthy on inspection and both were cut by the dealer at our request when we saw the state of it when we went to pick it up. Oops it is now full of swirls and holograms. The problem is as far as I can see, the roof is actually a wrap, not paint??? The mirrors seems to be just shiny black plastic as well. So from experience with my Pug 207 HDi Leman's Vinyl stripe I know cutting it will have likely destroyed its UV protection and it will fade even quicker now. But the swirls are killing me, so I will still likely polish them out and hope that regular application of Paint Sealant (synthetic Wax) will keep it going strong. Good thing it will be a Garage queen.
The drivers seat has a little wear on the bolster. And I mean a little. The colour is a tad faded in a 1cm square area on the base and back rest bolster. Nothing a good leather condition and clean can't fix.
There is no jack in the tool kit. Manual says there should not be one for RS models, but why have a wheel nut brace then as well as a hole for the jack??? Dealer noted in report and dismissed because of the manual.
The original goo kit was missing which was replaced by the dealer with an aftermarket kit as per the report. Most of these kits are supposed to be replace every 5-10 years anyway.
Typical poor panel and trim alignment French cars seem to suffer. Some of these I can adjust such as the drivers door being about 3-4mm to low.
The car is going for a Blue Slip tomorrow to start off the NSW registration process. The only good thing about the Chinese tyres is the tread depth will be an easy pass.
I will not be doing any major modifications to this car as it is pretty much fit for purpose out of the box for my intentions. Mods are saved for my MX-5.
First as stated will be the tyres, and getting the front toe checked out and adjusted. I gather a little toe out on the front is a good thing like any FWD car? 0.5mm per side is my guess.
I will be taking it to Marulan Driver Training Centre(now Pheasants Wood) to evaluate after this.
I will be looking at tyre wear, brake performance and overall balance of the car.
It is likely I will just put in some front Camber bolts as I can see visually there is not much front Camber. I already have a set of 14mm ones in the garage doing nothing anyway,
Possibly a rear sway bar may be added later if there is to much understeer for my liking,
And that is it.
Not going to touch the Air Intake or Exhaust, keeping it nice and quite plus ECU seems to be an issue anyway from what I have researched if you touch the cat or headers. Like any NA car the gains are not that great for the $$$ spent anyway.
I cannot see a reason to touch the springs or shocks, they are stiff enough as it is with factory CUP setup.