ONE of the key models in Renaultís Aussie return in 2001, the Clio II instantly impressed with its unique styling, nippy handling and stirring performance, especially in sharp Sport Cup guise.
Fast forward to today and (perhaps this is a world-first) no fewer than three different nosecones exist for the same car Ė one based on the 2001 Series II thatís now built in Colombia (and also available in special yellowonly taxi spec); a Moroccan-made 2009 facelift with a sober full-length grille; and this freshly minted makeover known as the Clio Mio from Argentina, wearing (rather uncomfortably) the current Clio IVís face.
Add the 1998 original and thatís four distinct nose jobs.
Aside from some minor trim variations, all feature much the same interior architecture, as well as the companyís long-lived 1.2-litre four-pot petrol engine.
Itís interesting to note that as a product of Renaultís avantgarde period that led to seminal designs such as the 1993 Twingo and 2002 Megane II, the Clio II has outlived its far more conservative (and less successful) third-generation successor released in 2005.
Jocelyn Wildenstein, your 2015 Clio II is ready!
Great design and a cracking drive are timeless virtues
So why did Renault ruin the looks with the latest facelift?