Renault's hot hatch gets even more hardcore
22 July 2008

Renault’s hardcore, track-focused Megane R26R has just been unveiled here at Excel - and Autocar has a special interest in this scorching hot hatch. Our editor-at-large Steve Sutcliffe played a part in its development by testing the prototype, and the R26R has already proved itself as the fastest front-drive car to lap the Nurburgring. Peering through the R26R’s polycarbonate windows on the stand proves that its cabin is closer to that of a fully fledged racer rather than a road car. It has Sabelt bucket seats with six-point harnesses, a carbonfibre bonnet and an optional titanium exhaust system. In total the changes are enough to shave 123kg off the regular R26’s kerbweight. This stripped-out Megane also loses its sound deadening, carpets and its passenger and curtain airbags. Suspension settings are revised – although they’re no harder than the standard R26, and stopping is assured by grooved Brembo brake discs. Buyers will also be able to specify a competition-grade roll cage, race compound tyres and either red or black 18-inch alloys. The R26R uses the standard R26’s turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, but its 227bhp and 229lb ft of torque have less mass to work against, resulting in a power-to-weight ratio of 189bhp per tonne. A standard limited-slip diff will help to deliver power. Only 450 R26Rs will be built, and it will be the most serious challenger to the Ford Focus RS.

See more pictures of the Renault Megane R26R

Will Powell

Our Verdict

Renault Megane

The Renault Megane looks bland, and it's not that good to drive either

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23 July 2008

Can't wait to see this at the show, I've had a cheeky pre-order on the R for a while now. I'm more than happy with the confirmed specs. Oh yes, come on Autocar, you should know better than to say it has Recaro bucket seats, they're made by Sabelt!

23 July 2008

On I´ve read, that all the R26R are already sold out. I guess the owners are going to be pretty lucky.

23 July 2008

Just read the article about the renault megane and to be honest cant really see the point of the car and who really cares if its the fastest front wheeldrive car at the ring, onlyschoolchildren!

I wouldnt buy one at any cost.

If any one thinks im being miserable i dont care i use to have two renaults dodgy electrics, poor customer service, poor residual values and they just fall to peices.

I would buy the RS.

24 July 2008

No doubt the R26-R would be a hell of alot of fun, just the normal R26 was an excellent car! However I just don't think I could live with the R26-R everyday like you could with the RS and that's what puts me off... Yeah it's mental, but I also need to do me shopping every week, plus it's nice to occasionally sit in your own back seats, if you know what i mean hehe ;)

If I had to by the Renault though, I'd just go for a 2nd hand F1 R26 in that liquid yellow paint, that still looks awesome and it has back seats!

24 July 2008

I for one am pleased they have built this car. It shows that we can still have hope in some of the large manufacturers to produce truely interesting and different cars.

I've thought for a long time the market could do with a real worlld 911GT3RSalike, and this is exactly what they've produced.

Would I buy one. Quite probably. This is the first car in a long time that I have seen that truely inspires me.



It's all about the twisties........

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