RS reimag­ined

Re­nault re­veals a twist to the hot Megane plot

Wheels (Australia) - - Redline - TONY O’KANE

IS THIS a case of tear­ing up the formula for what was one of the world’s best af­ford­able driver’s cars?

To fans of the out­go­ing Megane RS hot hatch, its re­place­ment is vir­tu­ally un­recog­nis­able. The Megane fam­ily dropped the three-door bodystyle when the new-gen­er­a­tion model launched last year, and the top-tier RS will now be strictly a five-door propo­si­tion – though with fat­ter guards mea­sur­ing 60mm wider at the front and 45mm wider at the rear, it’ll stand apart from gar­den­va­ri­ety Me­ganes.

Other par­a­digm shifts in­clude the avail­abil­ity of a six-speed du­al­clutch au­to­matic trans­mis­sion for the first time, as well as a man­ual, while Re­nault’s 4Con­trol four-wheel steer­ing hard­ware, in­tro­duced on the Megane GT in 2016, also slips onto the Re­nault Sport’s spec sheet.

Hy­draulic bump stops are said to aid on-limit -limit han­dling, while two chas­sis trims rims will be of­fered: road­friendly Sport or track-ready Cup.

As for power, count on 205kw from an all-newall- new di­rect-in­jected turbo 1.8-litre -litre four-cylin­der­four- cylin­der that’ll be shared with the Alpine 110, with peak power ar­riv­ing at 6000rpm.m. Torque maxes out at a stout t 390Nm, de­liv­ered be­tween 2400rpm and 5000rpm. rpm.

Those fig­ures put the Megane RS 22kw and 10Nm be­hind that other hy­per front-driver, the Honda Civic Type R. How­ever, one cru­cial num­ber is yet to be an­nounced – the Megane RS’S kerb weight. If it can un­der­cut the Honda’s 1393kg mass, the new RS could have a fight­ing chance of steal­ing the Type R’s ti­tle of ‘fastest front-driver­front- driver around the Nur­bur­gring’. Even if it doesn’t, Re­nault is con­fi­dent its four-wheel steer­ing will con­fer an agility ad­van­tage over other hot hatches like the Type R, i30 N, and up­dated Golf GTI.

Ex­pect Re­nault’s new scorcher to drop into Aus­tralian show­rooms in early 2018.


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