The new Renault Megane RS has been leaked more times than water through a colander, but the new Gallic hot hatch has finally been given its official unveiling. As expected, there’s more power than before; however, the fourth-generation model has also been given a whole host of new technologies to go with it.
A downsized 1.8 litre turbocharged and direct-injected four-cylinder engine produces 279 PS hp and 390 Nm of torque, five horsepower and 30 Nm more than the outgoing model had at its peak – and it’s all still sent to the front wheels. Keeping the extra helping of performance in check is the 4Control four-wheel steering system that made its debut on the latest Megane GT.
Purists will rejoice at the fact that, unlike the dual-clutch-only Clio RS, you can still have a back-to-basics six-speed manual gearbox here, although a six-speed Efficient Dual Clutch (EDC) transmission is also available if you like your pocket rocket with paddles and two pedals.
As is usual for a Renault Sport product, the new Megane RS comes with either the standard Sport suspension or a more track-focused Cup chassis, both receiving rally-style four hydraulic compression bump stops for better handling or comfort depending on the chosen setup.
The front suspension has also been completely redesigned with an independent steering axis for improved precision, while the Cup gains a Torsen limited-slip differential. Renault’s Multi-Sense system provides a choice of five driving modes – Comfort, Normal, Sport, Race and the customisable Perso.
With greater performance comes a heap of added visual aggression, headlined by the wider track and 18- or 19-inch wheels. Large front air intakes with a three-dimensional honeycomb mesh feed more air to the more powerful engine, and are outfitted by RS Vision LED daytime running lights.
Fender vents sit aft of the front wheels within wider front fenders (the rears are wider, too); around the back, you’ll find a downforce-inducing rear spoiler and a diffuser with an integrated central exhaust. Inside, there are sports seats with integrated head rests, upholstered in either either fabric or Alcantara charcoal grey trim and finished off with contrasting red stitching.
The “base” 280 hp model is just the start in what will inevitably be a long line of hot Meganes – an even more potent 300 hp Trophy version will be introduced at the end of next year.
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