Tapping the rear side windows of the Mégane tells you something straight away – they’re conventional glass, not plastic. This car hasn’t quite been on the hardcore crash diet of the R26.R but, once you’re inside, you’ll think that everything else that could have been done has been.

The seats slide back and forth but are fixed-back buckets with six-point harnesses and, for day-to-day use, three-point inertia reels. The air-con and stereo have been deleted, although cruise control stays.

Matt Saunders Autocar

Matt Saunders

Road test editor
The pedals are perfectly placed but the steering column could do with a bit more telescopic range

But none of these things is quite as notable by its absence as the lack of rear chairs. Instead, there’s a luggage net and a lot of empty space, across which the (optional) driver’s six-point race harness stretches to its mounting points.

From that point vertically is a set of webbing, mounted beneath a bright red brace, to prevent whatever’s loaded in the boot from sliding forwards. That’s designed to be a set of wheels and tyres, although only three fit side by side in the boot itself, with the fourth having to be popped over the brace and behind the seats. Which is probably no great hardship if you’re serious about taking spare rubber to track days.

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Neither, presumably, is the relative lack of soundproofing, again aimed at reducing weight. After all, this is a stripped-out car with a low-slung, no-compromise driving position to match. And in that context, Renault’s material choices – hard plastics in most places, soft suede-effect or Alcantara in others – is spot on.

As standard, you get nothing on the communications or entertainment front. Cruise control stays and it’s easy enough to dial out the ESP — completely.

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