245bhp Clio 182 is a rallying giant killer

As reported in our last newsletter, ex-UK Clio Cup race cars make for exceedingly good fun in rallying circles. This 182 from 2004 is off the scale…
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Its driver is Steve Quigley. He’s a general manager for a building solutions company in Cheshire. Except at weekends…

That’s when he gets to play with his 182 which, a list of modifications a mile long later, is now one of national rallying’s most potent asphalt-spec rally cars.

The car has history too – it was originally raced in the UK Clio Cup by Tom Onslow-Cole who went on to win the title in 2006!

But back to the modifications it has undergone since Steve got his hands on it for around £10,000 in 2013.

“It’s actually fitted with the F7R engine from the Clio Williams – not the F4R which was in the 172/182 models,” explains Steve.

“Originally it was around 150bhp. To get it to 245bhp – well actually we saw 246bhp the last time we put it on a dyno – has meant a long list of things with quite a few zeros after each one!

“We’re on the original throttle bodies but there’s a very modified head, cams, pistons and a very fancy exhaust system.

“The suspension is Reiger – the same they use in the World Rally Championship – and costs about £7K on its own. Then there are AP competition brakes and, while we’ve got the original sequential Sadev gearbox, we’ve meddled with the gear ratios which means, compared to 140mph or so of the race car, our top speed is about 120mph which is better for rallying. On saying that, we were still hitting the limiter in sixth gear for short periods in the recent rally at Donington Park.

“On top of that the seats, harnesses, dash display – we’ve switched to a programmable ECU plus LCD dash with all the variables. Oh, and you’ve got to have mud flaps…”

Donington marked the latest round of the very competitive Motorsport News single venue asphalt rally championship and there, up against much more sophisticated and expensive machinery, Steve and the Clio still came away with fourth place overall and as comfortable class winners (up to two litres).

Heading into the final two rounds he was a strong third in the championship outright and on course for a second two-litre crown in a row.

“We’re up against heavily modified MK2 Escorts – worth about £100,000 each with paddle shift gearboxes and Millington engines which are about at 25K on their own!” he adds.

“I did used to have a MK1 Clio Williams for four years but this is much better – it has power steering! Seriously the best thing is it’s an extremely well balanced car, especially in really fast stuff. It doesn’t do anything daft and also brakes well and accelerates well, especially with the Sadev ‘box.

“I might fancy investing in a Millington engine – 2.5 litre and 340bhp! That’d be interesting against the Escorts!

“I suppose I’d value the car now at around £25K but I’ve no plans on selling it. When the current season ends in April it’ll be back to base for a summer strip down and rebuild before it all starts again in the autumn.

“Wherever we go quite a few people probably pass it by and think nothing of it – then when they’ve seen the timesheets they start to take notice…”

Photos courtesy of Steve McKenna