New Me­gane packed with top tech

Pilbara News - - Motoring - Derek Og­den

De­spite taking a road less trav­elled lately by turn­ing its hand to the Cap­tur and Koleos sports util­ity ve­hi­cles, and a se­lec­tion of light com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles, Re­nault has not de­serted its tra­di­tional al­le­giance to hot hatches.

The French au­to­mo­bile man­u­fac­turer has stayed true to the Clio and Me­gane sport­ing her­itage with the lat­est ex­am­ples of both, the lat­ter touch­ing down in Aus­tralia late last year.

The fourth-gen­er­a­tion Me­gane calls on the Com­mon Mod­ule Fam­ily, Re­nault-Nis­san Al­liance’s mod­u­lar ar­chi­tec­ture.

Thanks to CMF, the new Me­gane shares some of the new tech­nol­ogy of the larger and more lux­u­ri­ous of the com­pany’s Euro­pean mod­els.

This in­cludes four-wheel steer­ing, a seven-inch colour thin film tran­sis­tor in­stru­ment dis­play, and tablet for­mat 8.7-inch screen with R-Link2 and multi-sense.

With four vari­ants avail­able in Aus­tralia, the range be­gins with the Re­nault Me­gane 1.2 Life man­ual at $22,490, plus on-road costs, the Zen 1.2 leads the au­to­matic ver­sions at $27,490, fol­lowed by the GT-Line, $32,490 and 1.6 Sport GT, $38,490. On test was the top-shelf vari­ant. The new Me­gane five-door hatch is a real looker, with a bolder, more chis­elled ex­te­rior and 3-D Edge ef­fect light­ing at the front and rear and mood-chang­ing am­bi­ent light­ing in the cabin.

Il­lu­mi­nated day and night, the front C-shaped light­ing sig­na­ture fea­tures LED 3D-ef­fect light guides, while per­ma­nently lit rear LED lights form a hor­i­zon­tal 3D-ef­fect sig­na­ture fea­tur­ing Edge Light tech­nol­ogy. The sig­na­ture ex­te­rior light­ing is car­ried over to the in­te­rior by Multi-Sense tech­nol­ogy, which con­trols a range of five dis­tinct light­ing am­bi­ences cou­pled to five dif­fer­ent driv­ing modes.

At­ten­tion has been paid to the in­te­rior fin­ish, from qual­ity soft­touch ma­te­ri­als to plush cov­er­ing for the dash, up­per door pan­els, door in­serts and arm­rests, plus el­e­gant chrome de­tail­ing and leather-trimmed steer­ing wheel.

Sculpted seats pro­vide com­fort and sup­port with dual-den­sity foam. The top stitch­ing on the seats and door pan­els is re­strained.

The test ve­hi­cle was fit­ted with R-Link 2, with the pre­mium pack 8.7-inch tablet-style touch screen with a “pinch and zoom” screen for easy use, even with un­steady hands. R-Link 2 of­fers an in­ter­face sim­i­lar to that of a tablet or smart­phone.

The 1.6-litre tur­bocharged petrol en­gine de­vel­oped for the new Me­gane GT by Re­nault Sport is a sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion de­vel­op­ment of that in­stalled in the Clio RS 200.

It de­liv­ers 151kW at 6000rpm and 280Nm of torque at 2400 and has a Euro 6 emis­sion rat­ing.

With six airbags as stan­dard, the Re­nault Me­gane Sport GT fea­tures trac­tion con­trol, front and rear park­ing sen­sors, blind spot warn­ing, and re­vers­ing cam­era.

Easy park as­sist caters for three types of park­ing — par­al­lel, per­pen­dic­u­lar and an­gled.

The Re­nault GT is a Me­gane for all sea­sons, with the choice of four driv­ing set­tings — Sport, Neu­tral, Com­fort and Perso (short for Per­sonal).

This range-top­per of­fers a few tasty treats from the Re­nault Sport race en­gi­neers. Launch con­trol, for ex­am­ple, al­lows for harder ac­cel­er­a­tion from a stand­ing start.

Multi-change down sig­nif­i­cantly speeds down­shift­ing more than one gear at a time.

Launch con­trol has the new Me­gane GT sprint­ing from zero to 100km/h in 7.1 sec­onds and is sim­ple to op­er­ate.

With the driver’s left foot on the brake pedal, launch con­trol is ac­ti­vated by si­mul­ta­ne­ously pulling and hold­ing the two steer­ing wheel-mounted gearshift pad­dles.

With the right foot flat to the floor on the ac­cel­er­a­tor pedal, the car pulls away as soon as the brake pedal is re­leased. The fun doesn’t end there. In man­ual mode, the seven-speed EDC trans­mis­sion multi-change down en­ables the driver to down­shift sev­eral gears in quick suc­ces­sion.

The new Me­gane GT also fea­tures 4Con­trol four-wheel steer­ing tech­nol­ogy. While not new, this con­sists of a chas­sis pro­vid­ing steer­ing of the rear wheels.

The re­sult is a GT with dy­namic and pre­cise cor­ner­ing.

At speeds up to 60km/h (80km/h in Sport mode), the rear wheels are steered in the op­po­site di­rec­tion from the front wheels for greater ma­noeu­vra­bil­ity. Above those speeds, the wheels are steered in the same di­rec­tion to en­hance cor­ner­ing grip and con­trol. Push­ing the GT into quick cor­ners holds few fears for the driver. Con­trol is in­stant and as­sured. The test car came up with fuel con­sump­tion of 10-plus litres/ 100km in the city and 5.4 litres/ 100km on a mo­tor­way run.

Com­pared with its pre­de­ces­sor, the new Me­gane in­cor­po­rates bet­ter in­su­la­tion all round.

An acous­tic glass wind­screen is stan­dard across the range.

Also in the mix is added or ex­tended foam and felt un­der­neath the bon­net, around the open­ing pan­els and wheel arches, in the foot wells and in the pil­lars and be­hind the boot’s lat­eral trim.

The new Me­gane en­joys an up­mar­ket shift across the range, while those want­ing some­thing from the French man­u­fac­turer’s For­mula One sta­ble can cash in on au­then­tic race tech­nol­ogy.

The new Re­nault Me­gane five-door hatch is a real looker, with a bolder, more chis­elled ex­te­rior. Pic­tures: Mar­que Mo­tor­ing

At­ten­tion has been paid to the in­te­rior fin­ish.

This hatch can reach 100km/h in 7.1 sec­onds.

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