Is anyone else mildly concerned by Steve Sutcliffe's first drive on the latest Renaultsport model, the Megane 250?

Sutters is a bit of a fast Renault nut; he ran our Megane R26 long-termer with such enthusiasm that barely anyone else in the office got to drive it, and he was a vocal supporter of the Clio 200 Cup at our most recent Handling Day. But while he gives the latest effort a guarded thumbs-up, he also seems to indicate that some of R26's joie de vivre has been sacrificed in the name of refinement.

Steve Sutcliffe's Renaultsport Megane 250 review

Hi-res pictures of the Renaultsport Megane 250

Bugger that. Fast Renaults have not made a name for themselves through Golf GTI-esque interior finish and cruising refinement; they've been popular choices at Autocar over the years because they hang on for dear life around B-road corners and (generally) ride better on UK roads than most other hot hatchbacks. The most recent Clio in particular is a stunning piece of engineering, with a fabulous blend of sublime body control and compliant damping.