The All-New Renault Megane RS: Origins Explained

2018 Renault Megane RS

2018 Renault Megane RS

The hot hatch segment has been highly competitive for some time with the Ford Focus ST, Hyundai i30N, Honda Civic Type R and of course the VW Golf GTI. It seems almost every year an automaker comes along with a surprise package and now the Renault Megane RS is a worthy addition to the list. In fact, reports suggest that the Megane RS will attempt to reclaim its position as the world’s fastest front-drive production car around the Nurburgring in Germany.

Based on the standard five-door hatchback, the body has been extended by 60mm at the front and 45mm at the rear. The front also features a Formula One-style blade in gunmetal grey and chequered flag LED fog lamps incorporated into the bumper. The front wings have air vents behind the wheel arches specifically designed to boost airflow around the front of the car at high speed. At the rear you’ll notice the aggressive styling continues with a narrower rear spoiler for a sportier look and a central exhaust with diffuser. The Megane RS comes standard with 18-inch alloy wheels but 19-inch wheels will also be available.

The short behind-the-scenes video documentary will show the development phase of the Megane RS in all its glory. If you are a true car enthusiast, it certainly is a must-see.

Renault Megane RS Specs and Performance

The new Renault Megane RS features a four-wheel steering system called 4CONTROL (4WS). It will fitted as standard to all models. In all fairness though, it’s not exactly four-wheel drive but it does make the Renault Megane RS come alive through the corners.

Quite possibly the most important addition, the 4WS system works in two different ways by boosting agility at low speed and stability at high-speed. If the car is going at speeds up to 60 km/h (37 mph), the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction of the front wheels. In contrast, when the car is pushed well above 250 km/h (155 mph), all four wheels turn in the same direction. The system was adopted from their rally cars and offers the Megane RS more flexibility and grip. In fact, reports suggest that response time is 20% more than the old RS.

Under the hood you’ll find a 1.8-litre turbocharged engine, same as the Alpine 110 sports cars. The difference is the engine has been fine-tuned to produce 276bhp at 6000 rpm and 390 Nm of torque. Renault also claims the RS provides good fuel economy of around 14.4km/l (34 mpg) with CO2 emissions of 155 g/km. It does seem a little light on power compared to the Ford Focus RS, Honda Civic Type R and the VW Golf R which all exceed 305bhp.

Megane RS Features and Creature Comforts

Inside are bucket seats fitted as standard and can be finished in Alcantara or a carbon fibre weave pattern. Other features inside the cabin include:

  • A digital instrument panel
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Reversing camera
  • Front and rear parking sensors and a hands-free parking function
  • Decorative red stitching
  • Aluminium pedals
  • A 22cm (8.7-inch) portrait touchscreen loaded with Renault’s latest R-LINK 2 multimedia system
  • Apple CarPlay

The R-LINK 2 system features a new RS Monitor that can track and record the car’s telemetry and driver performance. A camera can be linked to the system which allows the driver to view recorded driving footage on the touchscreen display.

Renault engineers are proud of the performance their 1.8-litre unit produces, even if it doesn’t kick the rivals to the curb. They feel there is more than enough power in this model where the gain in response and earlier peak delivery times outweigh the bigger performance numbers.

Moreover, based on future predictions, their next project is the Renault Megane RS Trophy edition which will have as much as 300 horsepower and superior torque. Finding the right balance is what true driving pleasure is all about and perhaps the Megane RS has already checked all of your boxes.

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