Renault is coming for the Volkswagen Golf R and Ford Focus RS with its new hot hatch.
The French brand has thrown its hat into the hot hatch ring with a new Megane RS boasting wild styling, a wider body and more engine power than the model it replaces.
Debuting at the 2017 Frankfurt motor show, the new Megane RS ditches the 2.0-litre unit from the previous three-door coupe RS variant and replaces it with a fresh 1.8-litre engine that produces slightly more power but significantly more torque.
Power has been bumped to 205kW at 6000rpm, which is four more kilowatts that the outgoing RS275 Trophy.
However, its torque figure has been boosted by a healthy 30Nm to 390Nm, and is produced between 2400-500rpm. And while no performance figures have been made public, the new Megane RS is expected to be quicker than before
Renault has already announced the Megane RS will, for the first time, be made available with either a six-speed manual or dual-clutch automatic transmission, although it has not been decided if one, the other or both will be made available in Australia when it is launched probably early next year.
One thing’s for certain, like it’s predecessors the new RS is unlikely to go unnoticed on the street or at track days for which it should be well suited.
Apart from a new “Orange Tonic” paint colour, the body of the RS is 60mm wider at the front and 45mm wider at the rear than the standard Megane to fit either 18 or 19-inch wheels.
That body has, of course, five doors like all hatch versions of the current Megane and unlike the three-door RS models of yore.
The new front bumper has what Renault Sport calls a formula one-style blade that creates a flat-floor effect at the front and there are extractor vents behind the front wheel arches.
At the rear there’s also a wider and deeper bumper that has cutouts for the twin, centrally mounted exhaust pipes, plus a diffuser and a lip spoiler.
While specifics on the Megane RS’s chassis tune have not been detailed, expect stiffer suspension in the mould of previous Renault Sport models, together with hydraulic compression stops to tune out harsher ride elements.
Two levels of chassis tune will be offered (in Cup and Sport model versions) and each will come with a version of Renault’s 4Control four-wheel steering.
On top of that are four driving modes available for the driver to switch through: Eco, Normal, Sport and Race.
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