Renault Australia has shifted its launch strategy for the new Megane RS, promising to offer track-ready ‘Cup’ versions of the hot hatch from day one.
The brand previously planned a series of rolling models based on the fourth-generation Megane – first a softly-suspended Golf GTI-rivalling ‘Sport’ model, then a more focused ‘Cup’ version and a Civic Type R-rivalling ‘Trophy’ model aimed at trackday warriors.
But strong feedback from customers and media prompted Renault to rethink its decision and offer the ‘Cup’ chassis as an option when the car launches here later this year.
Priced as a $1490 option on top of the standard Megane’s $44,900 asking price, the Cup Chassis Pack brings stiffer suspension, bi-material brake discs with lightweight aluminium rotor hats and a new mechanical limited slip differential for manual models. Manual versions of the Megane also feature a mechanical handbrake lever, while automatic versions use a one-touch electronic parking brake.
Renault says the new diff has a higher transfer rate which helps increase traction and limits understeer when driving out of a corner.
Unlike overseas markets, the previous-generation Megane RS 250, 265 and 275 models featured Renault’s ‘Cup’ settings as standard, save for a small batch of cut-price limited edition models.
Many owners of the superseded Megane RS on Australia’s popular OzRenaultSport online forums protested the move, saying the limited slip differential “is a must-have as far as I’m concerned”, that “they need a Cup version in Oz on release” and that the lack of an enthusiast variant was “quite a big turn off”.
Renault Australia managing director Andrew Moore said “we received strong feedback from media, customers and dealers that they would like to have the option of a Cup chassis on the entry model Megane RS 280”.
“We have listened to this feedback and gone back to the factory to introduce a Cup chassis option at the time of launch,” he said.
“Renault Sport and in particular the Megane R.S. has a strong history in Australia. In fact Australia was the third highest selling country in the world for the previous generation Megane R.S. behind France and Germany.
“We’re thrilled that the factory have supported us in responding to our customers and making this option available to our customers.”
The new Megane R.S. arrives in Australia in the third quarter of 2018.
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