Currently reading: Hotter Renault Megane RS planned
Hardcore Renaultsport Megane spied testing; more power to rival the Ford Focus RS
Autocar
News
2 mins read
22 July 2010

This modified Megane, spied testing at the Nordschleife, is the best proof yet that Renaultsport is ramping its hottest hatch up a notch in preparation for the next-gen Focus RS’s arrival.

The Megane 250 has been one of the current Focus’s toughest rivals, even though it gives away around 50bhp to the RS.

See the pics of the hardcore new Renaultsport Megane in action

Renaultsport is likely to attempt to narrow that gap with the revised model. Sources say the firm’s 2.0-litre powerplant could yield considerably more power; that could mean as much as 300bhp, enough to rival the Focus and the next-gen Astra VXR, which is likely to have a similar figure.

The Mégane’s chassis is likely to receive only minor tweaks for the hotter model. Its mechanical limited-slip differential — a part originally sourced from Nissan’s US line-up — is said to have the capacity to cope with greater power, even at its most aggressive setting.

The car’s styling is also likely to be tweaked only mildly. But the revised front bumper on this test hack does hint at the extra cooling for the brakes and engine that will need to be factored into the design.

The hotter Mégane will be one of the first modern Renaultsport models not to be created under the guidance of British engineer Steve Marvin.

Marvin, the technical director credited with some of the best hot hatches of the past decade, has been moved from the performance division to Renault’s van department.

As with the current 250, the new car will be built on the main Mégane production line in Palencia, Spain. Like Ford, Renault switched production of its rapid production cars from a specialised plant — it its case, the former Alpine factory in Dieppe — to the regular line in a bid to make the hot cars more profitable.

An ultra-hardcore, lightweight version of the car is possible, using plastic windows and selected carbonfibre panels.

But as with the R26R variant of the previous-gen Mégane, it’s likely that Renault would choose to roll out such a model at the end of the car’s lifecycle — and in very limited numbers, given the R26R’s hardcore appeal.

The current-generation three-door Mégane is likely to be around until at least 2013.

John McIlroy

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kevin2010 24 July 2010

Re: 300bhp Renault Megane RS planned

Big S wrote:

Yes please - theonlydt has nailed it on the head. Not more power and more complexity: give me a simpler, lighter weight, cheaper car that can be fun at 'normal' speeds in every day use. What's the point of making a car that is already faster than you can safely enjoy 99% of the time a bit better for the 1% of the time you can reach its potential?

I'm still waiting for a back-to-basics stripped back fun car. A new Spridget that's fun at 50mph; a new Moggie that makes a 20mph roundabout exciting.

It would be fine as an EV too, I wouldn't want to drive a car like this more than 90 miles in a day, because clearly it would be too slow and probably too uncomfortable for long journeys.

Ahh the refreshing sense you speak!! I totally agree with the light,fun and not too powerful hot hatch. Just look at the Renault Sport Twingo and Suzuki Swift Sport or even the Citroen Saxo VTS/Peugeot 106 GTI.

None of these cars have more than 135 bhp and still remain some of the most fun and involving cars money can buy. Why has the Lotus Elise been such a success? Light perfect handling and not too powerful!!

Big S 23 July 2010

Re: 300bhp Renault Megane RS planned

Yes please - theonlydt has nailed it on the head. Not more power and more complexity: give me a simpler, lighter weight, cheaper car that can be fun at 'normal' speeds in every day use. What's the point of making a car that is already faster than you can safely enjoy 99% of the time a bit better for the 1% of the time you can reach its potential?

I'm still waiting for a back-to-basics stripped back fun car. A new Spridget that's fun at 50mph; a new Moggie that makes a 20mph roundabout exciting.

It would be fine as an EV too, I wouldn't want to drive a car like this more than 90 miles in a day, because clearly it would be too slow and probably too uncomfortable for long journeys.

beachland2 23 July 2010

Re: 300bhp Renault Megane RS planned

i would normally favour a 4wd as the performance winner against fwd. but as the Renault is is so closely linked to lightweight agility, i would have to favour its 300bhp fwd against a 300bhp 4wd focus with a very heavy battery pack. and renault also give options of sticky semi slick tyres and a lighter car doesnt eat its tyres, it will be much more forgiving than the rubber hungry current focus RS. the renault front end wont get so stressed on the suspension or the tyre walls, less energy to have to deal with from the weight, lateral loads, inertia and momentum.

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