Renault Clio RS18 F1 vs. Toyota Yaris GRMN vs. VW Polo GTI

For starters, it’s light (1,135kg) which means the 1.8-litre, supercharged engine (156kW and 250Nm) doesn’t have much mass to cart around.

Extracting the vim from that motor is a joyous process, working the six-speed manual and witnessing the tachometer needle bounce off the limiter in the early ratios. Yes, it sounds properly zingy too and in an authentic way – though some might bemoan this very lack of snaps, crackles and pops.

Here’s the kicker. You can’t have one. This GRMN is one of 400 units worldwide and three in the country, brought in for marketing and awareness purposes. As a taste of what’s to come, this fiery Yaris is quite promising.

RENAULT CLIO RS18 F1

The Renault Clio RS18 F1 lays claim to a degree of exclusivity too, with 65 examples allocated to our market. It was built to commemorate the brand’s efforts in Formula One, though it’s based entirely on the Trophy version of the regular Clio RS, of which a facelifted version was launched last year.

The factors separating this RS18 F1 version are, essentially, a black-with-yellow-accents exterior job, bespoke decals and a reverse camera.It’s a car for the committed enthusiast.

Even in its most docile setting, this Clio strains at the leash, goading its driver. The suspension errs on the unforgiving side of firmness – a reminder that it’s been made with the track in mind.

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