Renault makes bold claims for new Focus rival
10 September 2008

Renault's new Megane leaked onto the web last week, but now the firm has revealed full details on its new Focus challenger ahead of its Paris motor show debut next month.The French manufacturer is making big claims about the new model's interior refinement, kit list and safety equipment - potentially a wise move, considering that its chassis set-up (MacPherson struts at the front, beam at the rear) is just a modified version of the outgoing car.The interior toys (see gallery here) include a digital speedometer, a 'speed limiter mode' that lights up a dashboard display in red if a predetermined speed is exceeded, hands-free entry and ignition, a sound system that can adapt to different numbers of passengers, standard climate control and two specifications of sat-nav.The safety equipment includes visual seatbelt reminders, a tyre pressure monitoring system, ABS, emergency brake assist, electronic stability control, understeer control, twin thorax/pelvis airbags and headrests that reduce head movement in an accident.Under the bonnet, petrol engine options will include 1.6-litre units producing 99bhp and 108bhp, a 2.0-litre motor with 138bhp and (in spring 2009) Renault's 1.4-litre TCe unit, which is claimed to produce 128bhp but lower CO2 emissions than a 1.6. Diesel options will eventually comprise dCi 85, 90, 105 and 110 engines (all of which emit less than 120g/km of CO2), along with more powerful 130, 150 and 160 variants.The five-door Megane's looks are pretty tame when compared with the radical rear end of the outgoing model. But Renault plans several more variants of the new car, including a more rakish three-door, a mini-MPV and a convertible, by 2010.No details have been released on what Renaultsport might do with the new Megane to follow up the awesome R26. But insiders say that the new three-door Megane will have more than enough visual appeal to form the basis of a performance model.The new Megane can't come quickly enough for Renault, which is currently facing industrial action over redundancies in France. Poor sales of its new Laguna and the economic slowdown have forced it to axe 1000 jobs at its Sandouville plant alone.

Our Verdict

Renault Megane

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

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