EVO - October '05
Morego Clio Sport 202
Aftermarket conversion Raises power to 202bhp
‘I always wince a little when people tell me they’ve modified and ‘improved’ a Renault Clio 182. It’s a pretty special little car, especially with the optional Cup chassis settings and there’s always a suspicion that any tinkering could upset a brilliantly cohesive package. Even RenaultSport itself had to resort to fitting hugely expensive remote-reservoir Sachs dampers to create the Trophy and genuinely move the Clio Cup to another level. Tellingly, it left the charismatic and ever-keen 180bhp engine well alone.
It’s a bold move to delve into the engine in search of more horsepower, then. Especially for a brand new company. But that’s exactly what Morego has done. The company has been set up as a sister firm to BBR, whose main business is bespoke and very expensive big-horsepower conversions. Morego will cater for lower-cost, higher-volume conversions, and the popularity of the Clio 182 made it the natural choice as the company’s first project.
The result is this, the Morego 202. As the name suggests, power is up by over 15 per cent to 202bhp at 6550rpm and torque jumps to a very healthy 168lb ft at 5250rpm (up from 147lb ft produced at the same revs). It’s a comprehensive upgrade comprising a high-flow air filter, cat-back stainless steel exhaust system, high-lift camshaft and Morego and BBR’s StarChip, which works with the existing ECU.
Obviously as soon as you start opening-up an engine the costs escalate quickly. The full 202 conversion is £1850 including fitting (or £1250 if you fancy getting your own hands dirty), but Morego also offers the conversion without the cam for £899. The gain in horsepower drops to around 14bhp but its obviously more cost-effective. Better still, Morego can supply brand new UK Clio 182 Cups with the lesser conversion at the current list price.
Morego’s aim was to keep the Clio’s gutsy low-end delivery and further build on the high-rev hit when the valve-timing changes at 5200rpm, and at low speeds the 202 feels every bit as tractable as the standard car. In fact, only the slightly throatier exhaust note betrays the conversion when you’re pootling around town.
Spot a derestricted sign, crack open the throttle and Morego’s work makes its presence felt. Its not night-and-day quicker than the 182, but it certainly pulls harder even below the valve-timing change, and over 5200rpm the 202 zings around to the limiter with a fierce shriek. It’s on fast, flowing roads that the extra power really pays dividends as you can keep the engine right in the sweet spot and the Clio makes even more impressive progress than the already manic 182.
That exhaust plays a great supporting role to the feistier delivery; just loud enough when extended but never boomy. Morego has also tweaked the front suspension geometry on this car, giving it more camber and even more responsive turn-in (included in the fitted price of the conversion). The pay-off is heavier, and slightly stodgier steering. I’d stick with the standard set-up. As you’d expect, there’s a little more torque-steer but overall the Clio copes admirably with the hike in power.
Despite my initial fears, the Morego 202 is impressive; above all, it feels cohesive. Is it worth £1850? Well, it’s covered by a three-year warranty and the more extreme cam certainly gives an addictive top-end rush. Even so, I’d be tempted to stick with the cheaper exhaust/filter/StarChip conversion. If you’re looking at a new Clio 182 and fancy a little added edge, then the basic Morego at standard list price makes even more sense.’
Engine In-line 4-cyl, 1998cc, 16v
Max power 202bhp @ 6550rpm
Max torque 168lb ft @ 5250rpm
Top speed 145mph (estimate)
0-60mph 6.0sec (estimate)
Price £1250 (£1850 inc fitting and VAT)
On sale Now
evo Rating – 4 Star
[+] Top-end power gains
[-] Relatively small gains for the money
Neil Mckay: ‘Thanks to evo for their driven feature. We could not understand the comment reference heaver steering, all became apparent when the vehicle was retuned, with a slow front puncture!’