Hot hatch buyers haven't had it so good since the 1980s. Every manufacturer worth their salt has a performance version of their supermini or small hatch. This is Renault's and it's one of the best in the business. The 172 was the original car - launched in 2001 - and was a very accomplished hot-hatch offering focused performance at a reasonable price.
A Cup version was launched in 2002 aimed at serious driving enthusiasts who wanted a car, without frills or luxuries, that they could throw around a race track. 2003 saw the model receive 10 bhp extra and a name change to 182. And as a final flourish, Renault launched a 'Trophy' model in mid 2005. Just 500 of these cars were available with sports suspension and Recaro bucket seats.