This Renault Roadster is the French Equivalent of a Lotus Elise

While it's hardly a bustling market, the Lotus Elise has been the premier choice for buyers of small, nimble, mid-engine sports cars, frankly ever since it debuted two decades ago. That's not entirely surprising though – it's a no-holds-barred type of car.  What is somewhat surprising is that this French adversary never quite caught on like the athletic Elise. It's called the Renault Sport Spider. If you have never seen one, you're among good company – production totaled only 1,635 Spiders (numbers vary) between 1996 and 1999. This rare arachnid will cross the block at Silverstone Auctions on March 28, expected to bring around £22,000 (or $32,700). RELATED: See more photos of the no-nonsense 1997 Renault Spider Some might find the Renault Spider a ghastly reminder of '90s oddity, but it's impetus and form was rather simple and deliberate. During the 1990s, Williams Renault was cleaning up in Formula 1 and Renault saw this as the perfect opportunity to push some of its motorsport pedigree into its road cars. So it knicked the 2.0-liter 16-valve engine from the Clio Williams hatchback (another F1 carryover) and plopped the 148-horsepower mill in the middle of a lightweight aluminum chassis. All totaled the Spider weighed in at 2,050 pounds, a tad heavier than the original Elise, though there isn't exactly much more to take off. The Spider's body panels were plastic, there was no roof (apart from a bed sheet), and the aluminum dashboard had only three dials, none of which was a speedometer. Performance was, however, quite nippy – zero to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds and up to a top speed of 134 mph – though perhaps not quite as lithe in the corners as the Elise. RELATED: The 2016 Lotus Evora is here with 400 horsepower This 1997 Spider looks like a particularly good example. In its 18 years it has seen only 14,000 miles and three owners, which isn't bad considering many Lotus Elises of this age have endured two to three times as many miles and middle aged wheelmen. RELATED: Check out the new Lotus Elise S Cup racer _____________________________________ Click Here to Read the Original Article on BoldRide

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