By: Sam Bisby
For anyone who loves a hot hatchback, RenaultSport will be familiar and exciting name in the realm of potent compact cars.
RenaultSport was unsurprisingly a name born out of motorsport. At the end of 1976, Renault closed down the Alpine competition department at Dieppe to move all racing activities to its Gordini base just outside of Paris.
However, the two sites soon came to work together, with endeavours in both Formula One and rallying becoming the main focuses. The latter had already seen success with Renault’s Gordini-tuned cars, as well as the Alpine lineage.
On the road, things didn’t start to kick off until the mid-90s, when the RS Spider arrived on the scene. The roofless two-seater was a lightweight, mid-engined sports car and was produced for both road and track, with a one-make race series making use of the latter incarnation.
In the years following, while the RenaultSport F1 team gained traction with soon-to-be F1 star Fernando Alonso, the road cars really got going as well, thanks to Renault’s well-priced hatchbacks.
Both the Clio and Megane started getting the R.S. treatment, with models such as the Clio 182 Trophy and Megane R26.R early highlights of what was possible.
Below are our five favourites from Dieppe, as well as a bonus duo that would be more than worthy of the RS moniker.
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