The hottest Megane yet
4 October 2006

Renault has been fettling the hot Megane, and it's come up with a quick car with a very long name - the Renault Mégane Renaultsport 230 F1 Team R26.

Starting with the Megane 225 Cup, Renaultsport has added 5bhp (bringing it to a total 227bhp pr 230PS, and taking 0.1sec off the 0-62mph time, which is now 6.2sec) and a limited-slip diff, which it says improves traction. Renaultsport also claims that the torquesteer normally associated with limited-slip diffs is minimised by the independent front suspension.

Other handling improvements are steering that has been recalibrated for more feel and the 225 Cup's stiffer springs, unique damper settings and larger bump stops to improve the responsiveness of the chassis on poor surfaces. The brakes have had some work, too, with four-pot 312mm Brembos at the front.

If the 230's red brake calipers don't make it stand out enough for you, you can also optionally order the car in 'Liquid Yellow' paint and with bumper and roof markings.

There's a tasty pair of Recaros inside and a numbered plaque, though Renault now stays well clear of saying how many cars it will make for each special – perhaps memories of the Clio Williams still linger.

Pricing is competitive at £19,570, although the 237bhp Vauxhall Astra VXR just undercuts it at £19,120. Ford's cheaper Focus ST and the VW Golf GTi provide yet more talented opposition, while the 254bhp Mazda 3 MPS is due in November.

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