French hatch dis­patch but no catch

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige News -

SORRY, no chance. That is the sad mes­sage from Re­nault Aus­tralia on the hottest hatch yet from the French maker, the R26.R.

‘‘All the cars are pre-sold. We won’t even be able to get one to dis­play at mo­tor shows,’’ says Craig Smith of Re­nault Aus­tralia.

Yet the Re­naults­port R26.R is a se­ri­ous hap­pen­ing for Re­nault, which has used the go-faster Me­ganes as a big show­room at­trac­tion. Two Re­naults­port Me­ganes have been a lim­ited-edi­tion sell­out in Aus­tralia and the com­pany is just about to put a Re­naults­port Clio into the lo­cal line-up.

The R26.R is de­vel­oped from the ex­ist­ing 230 F1 Team R26, named af­ter the com­pany’s For­mula One racer, and has a big track fo­cus. The cabin has a full rollcage, rac­ing seats and har­nesses.

There’s more, from a car­bon-fi­bre bon­net to poly­car­bon­ate win­dows to cut weight by 123kg for a sig­nif­i­cant per­for­mance boost us­ing the reg­u­lar R26 turbo mo­tor. Side and cur­tain airbags, the sound sys­tem, air­con­di­tion­ing and heated rear win­dow have been re­moved.

Wrong way, go back:

the Re­nault R26.R is a big hit in France, but we won’t be get­ting it.

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