3 June 2004

Renault is weighing up a new faster, lighter Cup version of the Mégane to sit above the turbocharged Renaultsport 225. A formal announcement is due by the Paris show in September, but UK managing director Philippe Talou-Derible confirmed exclusive details of the car to Autocar at Birmingham.

Following in the tyre tracks of the successful Clio 172 Cup (right), the fastest Mégane would undergo a similar regime of weight-saving and fine-tuning to sharpen its responses. The regular Renaultsport 225 is hardly slow. Its blown 222bhp 2.0 helped it scorch to 60mph in just 6.1sec in last month’s road test. It topped out at 142mph.

A Cup version of the Mégane would lose some, but not all, of its luxury spec to save weight, and engineers are honing the chassis to make it more nimble. Autocar understands the car would receive retuned spring and damper rates.

‘Power is not the issue, it’s about sharpness,’ said Talou-Derible. ‘This car would be a bit lighter and a bit sharper. The Cup badge is starting to mean something in the UK and we would not want to lose that.’

It is unclear at this stage if Renault would cut the price of the £19,500 Mégane to reflect the loss of standard equipment, as it did with the recent Clio Cup.

Renault also slid the wraps off the Modus at the NEC, and the firm claimed it would be one of the safest mini-MPVs on sale with six airbags, tyre-pressure sensors and swivelling headlamps.

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