The basic recipe, solidified when the 250 earned the (now defunct) Trophy's extra grunt as standard, remains unchanged.
The 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine develops 261bhp, and is now available as the Megane 265 alone - the fabled Cup model, previously a cheaper ticket, is now gone, although its more combative chassis settings are still offered courtesy of a £1350 tick.
Although a fine car without the added outlay, we'd recommend making that extra pen stroke. Cup cars continue to get a GKN torque-biasing differential (maximum torque-difference ratio 2.3 to one) as well as the firmer suspension with 35 per cent stiffer front springs, 38 percent stiffer rear ones and an overall 15 per cent rise in roll stiffness. There are red calipers for the Brembo brakes, too.
Cosmetically, there is no difference; although from 2014, the model is distinguished by the revised front end rolled out across the Mégane range - including new headlights, grille and an enlarged Renault badge.
Inside you get supportive bucket seats, lots of sporty trimmings and kit that includes dual-zone climate control. Renault's rather clunky R-Link infotainment system includes sat-nav as standard now, and the latest Renaultsport Monitor pack - the brand's software conduit for a mountain of telemetry data - is equipped with enough graphical muscle to keep you amused in the pit lane (or on the driveway) for quite some time. Out on the road or track however, no electronic assistance is required to keep you interested.
Some cars get a bit unruly with the traction control disengaged, suggesting the systems have a bit of a sticking-plaster role. Not so the 265. Press the hidden-away RS button once and the default 247bhp turns into 261bhp, simultaneously loosening the ESP strictures.
Keep it pressed and all traction and stability aids are extinguished and the 265's true character can show through. Like all the best hot hatches, pedalling it furiously feels like a natural, progressive step; the Mégane is about as friendly as a front-drive car capable of almost 160mph can be, tucking in beautifully as you come off the brakes and turn, drifting all-of-a-piece if the entry speed was too ambitious, nailing the torque to the road as you spear towards the exit and the diff does its stuff.