Fast French love af­fair

The Me­gane gets greater power and pas­sion from Re­naults­port

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Road Test - PAUL GOVER CHIEF RE­PORTER paul.gover@cars­

THERE’S an easy way to get a grip on the lat­est Re­nault Me­gane RS 265. Think of it as the much-bet­ter-look­ing French equiv­a­lent of the Subaru Im­preza STi. With­out all-wheel drive.

The Me­gane hero hatch de­liv­ered the tur­bocharged thrill ride on par with Subaru’s charis­matic WRX. Now the up­grade to the RS 265 level lifts things to an STI stan­dard, pol­ish­ing the RS halo with ex­tra power and torque, visual tweak­ing and ex­tra equip­ment.

The name change on the 265 is the re­flec­tion of the horse­power. Adding 15 horse­power— that’s 11.2kW— doesn’t seem much, but the way the punch has been pack­aged makes it spe­cial.

The car starts as a reg­u­lar 250, but when you tog­gle the set­tings to Sport mode it un­leashes the whole pack­age. That means a dif­fer­ent ex­haust beat, much more re­sponse to the throt­tle, an al­most to­tal lack of turbo lag, big­ger midrange surge and the 265 horses of top-end power.

The RS range— in­clud­ing the pocket rocket Clio— has been very good for Re­nault in its a mas­sive re­build in Aus­tralia, do­ing a WRX-style job of at­tract­ing new buy­ers.

‘‘ Re­naultS­port has been very good to us, and for us,’’ Re­nault Aus­tralia boss Justin

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