The Mid-Engine Sports Car Time Forgot


“Simplify, then add lightness.” That is Renault’s mott—wait, no it is not. However for a quick interval within the ’90s, the French automaker borrowed Colin Chapman’s celebrated design philosophy and constructed a automotive the Lotus founder seemingly would have been pleased with: the Renault Sport Spider.

Launched in 1996, the Renault Sport Spider was the primary product to be badged as a Renault Sport, the model’s efficiency subsidiary that spearheaded its Method 1 efforts and would later develop hotter variations of the Clio and Mégane hatchbacks. The Spider was supposed to function each a halo sports activities automotive and a devoted race automotive for use in a one-make collection.

At fewer than 150 inches lengthy, it was practically as tiny because the Lotus Elise of the day, and virtually as fast due to its mid-mounted 148-hp 2.0-liter I-Four and sub-2,000-pound curb weight. A five-speed guide was the one transmission alternative, however there have been different issues clients had extra of a say in. Take the windshield for instance—you could possibly have your Spider with or with out one. One other profit over its Lotus up to date: The Renault Sport Spider got here with scissor doorways.

The Renault Sport Spider continued manufacturing till 1999, and ultimately roughly 1,800 examples had been constructed. This one for sale by RM Sotheby’s is windshieldless, brilliant yellow, and valued at €20,000-€30,000 ($22,000 to $33,000). That will very nicely be price it to personal a bizarre piece of Renault historical past that is little doubt a blast to bomb again roads in.

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Pictures courtesy of RM Sotheby’s. 



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