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The 1997 Renault Sport Spider Shines at Supercar Fest 2024

Attending the 2024 Supercar Fest: The Runway was a dream come true for any sports car enthusiast, myself included. We had a chance to see and test-drive some of the most iconic supercars ever made. We Spotted a couple of Lamborghini Gallardo models, an Audi R8, and about half a dozen Porsche 911s. But, among the fleet of rare vehicles, one car stood out: the 1997 Renault Sport Spider. While the Supercar Fest 2024 had lots of new cars, the Renault Sport Spider was one of the classic cars there. Having the chance to see the 1997 Renault Sport Spider up close and even sit inside was an unforgettable experience. This post is a 1997 Renault Sport Spider Review, detailing its beautiful exterior design, sporty interior, powertrains, and performance. 

SUPERCAR FEST VENUE: The Supercar Fest 2024 was held at Sywell Aerodrome in Northamptonshire. Fun fact: Sywell Aerodrome was the RAF flying training facility in the Second World War.

All that aside, let’s talk about the 1997 Renault Sport Spider. 

Overview Of The Renault Sport Spider

The 80s were a tough time for Renault, which had financial problems. But things began to look bright for the European brand by the end of that decade. It was at this time when Renault was recovering from a financial challenge that the idea of the Sport Spider was born.

Seeking to reestablish itself as a sporting brand, Renault wanted to create a sports car that would replace the Renault 5 Turbo. The result was the Renault Sport Spider. This was the first sports car under the new ‘Renaultsport’ brand.

The first Renault Sport Spider model debuted at the 1990 Paris Motor Show as the futuristic Laguna Roadster concept car. Thanks to the positive reviews, Renault executives gave the Sport Spider the green light for “Project W94” in 1993. 

Design and Engineering

Right from the start, Renault designed the Sport Spider as a driver’s car. Unlike many of the brand’s cars, the Sport Spider featured an aluminum chassis. Thanks to this strong chassis setup, buyers enjoyed the benefits of low weight and high strength, clad in a GRP body. 

One of the most fascinating features of the Renault Sport Spider was the unique gearbox and engine arrangement. Inspired by aeronautical design, this engine and gearbox layout minimized engine vibrations, enhancing the driving experience. 

Engine And Transmission

Like the rest of the pack, the 1997 Renault Sport Spider featured a mid-mounted, 2-liter, DOHC F7R four-cylinder engine, which produced 148 bhp and 129 lb-ft of torque. This finetuned engine came from the Clio Williams. 

The Renault Sport Spider’s 2-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a 5-speed manual transmission. This five-speed manual gearbox was available on all models made from 1993 to 1999. 

Zero To 62 MPH In 6.9 Seconds

Thanks to the peepy engine, the Renault Sport Spider 1997 can go from 0 to 62 mph in just 6.9 seconds, with a top speed of 133mph. This isn’t bad for a classic Renault Two-Seater Sports Car that weighs 930 kg.

Renault Sport Spider Production and Rarity

Produced at Alpine’s Dieppe factory from 1996 to 1999, only 1,685 Sport Spiders were hand-built. Each Renault Sport Spider took about 90 hours to complete. This justified its relatively high price at the time. 

Notably, 400 left-hand drive Sport Spider cars featured a wind deflector instead of a windscreen, creating an air-screen effect. 

For the UK market, Renault built only 60 right-hand drive Sport Spider models with windscreens, making them particularly rare.

The 1997 Renault Sport Spider at Auction

The 1997 Renault Sport Spider showcased at the auction is one of those 60 windscreen-equipped, right-hand drive models. 

With just over 5,000 miles on the odometer, the 1997 Sport Spider is in good condition, It’s exterior has the signature Pearlescent Liquid Yellow paintwork finish.

The two-seater sports car retains its original owner’s book-pack, service records, and MOT certificates. The Sport Spider also has the original ‘briefcase’ in the front luggage compartment.

Auction Results: The 1997 Renault Sport Spider model that was seen at the Supercar Fest 2024 sold for £34,239 ($43,509). The two-seater was at the Sywell Aerodrome, Sywell, Northampton. At the time of its sale, it had exactly 5,215 miles on it, which is rare for classics. 

Supercar Fest 2024 Experience

Seeing this 1997 Renault Sport Spider at Supercar Fest 2024 was a highlight of the event. Sitting inside the Spider, it was easy to see why it captivated so many. 

I particularly loved its minimalist interior, which exuded a charm that is hard to find in modern cars. Seeing it in such immaculate condition with only 5,215 miles at Supercar Fest 2024 was truly a special experience. 

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Wilfred Nkhwazi
Wilfred Nkhwazihttps://flagshipdrive.com
🚗 About Wilfred Nkhwazi - Founder of Flagship Drive 🌍 Meet Wilfred Nkhwazi, an automotive writer, and explorer of the open road. 📚 With more than five years of experience in the world of automotive writing, he's the visionary behind Flagship Drive. As a seasoned writer, he brings a wealth of knowledge and insight to Flagship Drive, providing readers with the latest news, reviews, and trends in the automotive world. Wilfred has a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of the technology and engineering behind cars, making him the go-to expert for all things automotive. When he isn't behind the wheel, you can find him exploring the latest automotive innovations or attending industry events. He is also the curator of CarReviewHQ.com, where he dissects the finest details of automobiles.
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