Renaultsport version gets unique styling based on Trophy race car

Renault’s Renaultsport division has reached the final few months of development of its super-hot version of the new Renault Megane.

The new Renaultsport Megane will be unveiled at the Geneva motor show on 3 March. UK sales have been brought forward and the new car will be available by late summer, or even slightly earlier.

The new Renaultsport Megane is expected to be seen as a direct rival for the forthcoming more extreme versions of the new Volkswagen Scirocco.

The new Renaultsport Megane will be based on the dramatic three-door Megane coupe, and a five-door version based on the regular Renault Megane hatchback has been ruled out.

The hot version will get unique styling, with a completely different nose based on that of the new Megane Trophy race car (pictured) that was unveiled at the Paris show last September.

Sources say the Megane Trophy’s distinctive ‘aero blade’ styling feature, which runs across the car’s air intake, will be used on the production car.

A more outlandish rear bumper design has also been finalised, with a centrally mounted exhaust pipe.

Unlike the outgoing hot Megane, the new Renaultsport Megane is expected to get flared wheel arches and wider tracks than the standard model.

Under the bonnet is the same 2.0-litre turbocharged engine as the current Renault Megane R26, but the output is said to be closer to 250bhp, up from today’s 230bhp. Driving through a six-speed manual gearbox, the new Megane should be able to hit 62mph in 6.0sec.

The advantages of Renault’s clever ‘double axis’ front suspension design, which helps to reduce torque steer, should be doubly appreciated by owners of the new car.

That’s because Renault engineers have already made significant changes to the standard Renault Megane’s front subframe and steering system compared with the outgoing car. The subframe is now much more rigidly located, which should greatly improve steering accuracy. The Megane’s electric power steering has also been re-engineered for improved feel.

Brembo brakes will be standard on the hot Megane, and the limited-slip differential fitted to today’s R26 will be offered as an option.

Production of the current R26R will be phased out in March. Insiders say Renault might sell just the standard R26 version of the Megane coupe and allow buyers to further customise the specification of their own cars with Renaultsport components.

Hilton Holloway

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