Talking to Autocar, Renault's VP of design Anthony Lo also confirmed that alongside the absence of a three-door Mégane, no convertible was planned either.
Despite the car’s practical five-door set-up and anticipated front-wheel-drive, Lo is also confident that the Mégane RS will have more than 300bhp, which puts it firmly in the realms of rival, the Honda Civic Type R. We expect this to be squeezed from a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine, with a manual gearbox - a move which would be a significant turnaround from Renault, following criticism of its decision to only offer the last-gen Clio RS with the EDC dual-clutch transmission.
It was also revealed by Lo that lap times are important in the development of the new Mégane RS, suggesting that Renault is preparing the Mégane to reclaim its front-wheel-drive Nürburgring lap record from the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S, which set a time of 7min 49.21sec. The previous Mégane RS 275 Trophy’s record time of 7min 54sec was originally smashed by the 7min 50sec achieved by the Honda Civic Type R.
The current hot Mégane, the RS 275 Cup-S, reaches 62mph in 5.8sec and on to 158mph with 271bhp, so with 30bhp-plus on tap, there should be a comfortable improvement.
With the car still some two years away, Renault couldn’t give us any further details on what would feature on the Mégane RS. The four-wheel steering on the Mégane GT may be carried over to its sporting sibling along with the ‘RS vision’ lights, as seen on the facelifted Clio RS. There have also been suggestions that the Megane RS will feature a wider track over the standard car’s.
So far, the only details Renault could reveal that the car's arrival date is some time in 2018. As with the facelifted Clio, we expect a small increase in price over the current Mégane RS, so a starting price of around £24,000 is likely.
Jimi Beckwith and Alan Taylor-Jones