The current World Health Organisation (WHO) classification of renal tumours is based on characteristic histological features or specific molecular alterations. von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) alteration is the hallmark of clear cell renal cell carcinoma (RCC). After identification of the MiT translocation family of tumours, clear cell papillary renal cancer and others, the group of ccRCC with wild-type VHL is small. TCEB1 mutation combined with chromosome 8q loss is an emerging tumour entity with wild-type VHL. Inactivation of TCEB1 increases HIF stabilisation via the same mechanism as VHL inactivation. Importantly, recent molecular analyses suggest the existence of another 'VHL wild-type' evolutionary subtype of clear cell RCC in addition to TCEB1 mutated RCC and clear cell papillary renal cancer. These tumours are characterised by an aggressive behaviour, high tumour cell proliferation rate, elevated chromosomal instability and frequent presence of sarcomatoid differentiation. Future clinicopathological studies will have to provide data to determine whether TCEB1 tumours and clear cell RCC with wild-type VHL are separate tumour entities or represent variants of a clear cell RCC tumour family.