The Renault Megane RS, in its current generation, is held in high esteem as one of the best-handling front-wheel-drive hot hatches available. And there is no danger that the next generation will lose its handling focus, rather it looks set to join the all-wheel-drive club.
Citing the all-wheel-drive Ford Focus RS, the informant listed all-wheel-drive, torque vectoring, and Renault’s 4Control rear wheel steering system as inclusions for the new halo car.
Last year at the new Megane’s global launch RenaultSport VP of sales, Regis Fricotte, told TMR that a three-door version wouldn’t appear, and hinted that the move to a dual-clutch automatic was such a successful strategy in the Clio RS that it was likely to happen again in the Megane.
However there is still a chance that a manual version could appear. While much of the world prefers a self-shifter, Europe’s love of a manual may see the option survive.
More power is also all but confirmed, with the current Megane RS275’s 202kW output likely to get boosted to a more inspiring 220kW, courtesy of an all-new engine.
While that still trails behind the manic 257kW Focus RS, it would also put the Megane just a step ahead of the current Volkswagen Golf R, which in its detuned Australian specification, delivers 206kW.
That engine won’t owe anything to the current generation 2.0 litre however, with the need to meet ever-stricter emissions criteria requiring the shift to a new engine.
Engine capacity is also a contentious issue, with some sources claiming a more powerful version of the Clio RS and Megane GT’s 1.6 litre engine will be developed, while others point to a new 2.0 litre design.
Other expected upgrades include a more aggressive styling package incorporating larger front intakes, stance-enhancing wheel arch extensions, along with wider wheels, and the requisite rear spoiler.
Launch timing might still be some way of however. While a concept introduction is tipped for this year’s Paris Motor Show in October, the production Megane RS won’t hit European showrooms until late 2017 at the earliest.
There’s little doubt the new Megane RS will make it to Australia, with RenaultSport enjoying some of its largest global sales Down Under, however 2018 could be the earliest we see the new model here.