This is the first official image of the new Renaultsport Megane, accidentally released by the manufacturer itself on its official website.
The hot version of the Megane is one of this year's most eagerly awaited performance hatchbacks, and the gaffe will be embarrassing for Renault, which has been planning a major PR blitz on the car for this week's Geneva motor show. The image appeared only briefly on the French manufacturer's site before being removed, but its appearance was long enough for it to be grabbed and spread around the web.
The Renaultsport Megane sticks closely to the Megane Trophy concept that was shown last year. It's based on the Megane Coupe three-door; Renault is said to have no plans for a five-door variant.
At the heart of the production car is a modified version of the outgoing Megane R26's engine, now with 247bhp (250PS) and over 250lb ft of torque. As with the Clio and Twingo RS models, Renault is said to be lining up a Cup chassis for the Megane, potentially creating a serious challenger to the Focus RS. There's no word yet, however, on whether the car will retain the R26's limited-slip differential.