Renault have upped the ante with their new Megane R26-R hot hatch, which takes a distinctly 'no frills' approach to performance motoring.
The R26-R is based on a standard Megane Renault Sport 230 F1 Team R26 (what a mouthful), but rather than add performance by increasing engine power, Renault have elected to instead throw out all of the 'unnecessary' creature comforts to reduce weight. Things like the ability to carry more than one passenger, for example.
With a loud exhaust and rock-hard suspension, passengers wouldn't be especially inclined to ride with you anyway, which is good because that's even more weight saved. There are also a carbon-fibre bonnet, polycarbonate windows and a lighter exhaust system, all of which add up to a weight saving of around 125kg over the standard R26. Power is still provided by the same 227bhp turbocharged inline-four as the R26, but thanks to Renault's rigorous dieting program, the R26-R can dispatch the 0-100kph sprint in just 6 seconds - half a second faster than the regular R26.
The rest of the driveline is made up the standard R26's 6-speed manual and limited-slip-diff, however a short-shifter mechanism has been added to the gearbox linkage to shorten throw. The option list for the R26-R is even more telling: don't look for floormats or metallic paint here, instead you'll find options like a competition-spec roll cage, a featherweight titanium exhaust and super sticky race-compound tyres. The Renault Megane R26-R will debut at the London Motor Show next month, and is expected to go on sale in Europe later this year at a price of AUD $49,000.