If looks could kill. . .
IF you think the Renault Megane Coupé is a greatlooking car, prepare for a visual feast that is the maker’s sport division variant.
Talk of stunning, the most eye-catching Renault on the market, then talk of the Megane Renaultsport. Swoops and curves, edge and muscle, they all add up to a massive wow factor.
Its low coupé roofline slopes into a sculpted bonnet, and wheel arches and side skirts extend, bulge if you will. Form and function, a case of aerodynamics to optimise performance.
The model on test, the Megane Renaultsport 250 is fitted with an F1-inspired aerodynamic package, including a front blade, rear air diffuser and additional rear spoiler.
Its distinctive “pouting” rear end comes with a signature trapezoidalshaped central exhaust pipe. A hint of mean, aggressive intent highlighted by the extra tinted windows.
All the sport trappings are topped up by the optional 19-inch alloy wheels. Enough of the exterior admiration, it’s inside where you’ll spend the majority of your time as you take to Tarmac.
And it’s a very fine place to inhabit, a classy cabin of soft plastics and two-tone leather upholstery. Shaped-to-the-bodycontoured optional Recaro sports seats are a standout feature.
But there’s more in the guise of Renaultsport kit, such as door sill kick plates, aluminium pedals, leather steering wheel with yellow stitched centreband and reach and rake adjustment, and an analogue speedometer and yellow-faced rev counter; it is only the clock that is digital. A neat race-like touch is the Renaultsport Monitor, an onboard telemetry system which can record real-time lap information, G-forces and performance and engine data.
Should you require the additional seating, access to the rear is straightforward and provides space for two. Despite the low roofline, it’s a comfortable environment.
But it’s up front where you want to be, behind the wheel and firing up 250bhp of turbocharged petrol power.
Press the Start button, engage the gear lever of the six-speed manual ’box and move off.
Yes, it’s brisk, the benchmark 62mph reached in a whisker over six seconds on your way to a potential top speed of 156mph. A healthy reservoir of torque, 251lb ft to be exact, and from 3,000rpm, adds to its malleability at low speeds. This Megane is as friendly at low urban speeds as it is engagingly exhilarating when hurried along.
This is one swift motor – with the benchmark 62mph reached in a whisker over six seconds en route to a potential top speed of 156mph.
It is fitted with the standard Sport chassis – the alternative is the Cup chassis which features a limited slip differential. As a departure from the standard car, Renaultsport has fitted its PerfoHub suspension at the front where aluminium double-axis struts help to negate torque steer.
The steering is precise and instantly responsive to your every touch. This Megane handles a treat, grippy and assured on fast straights and flat on bends; Renaultsport sportiness instils a super sense of fun.
But should you get to the point of overcooking it, though, its braking power – massive 340mm ventilated front disc brakes with Brembo fourpot callipers and 290mm discs to the rear – will bring you to a halt in double quick time. For extra backup you can count on Renaultsport Dynamic Management, a three-stage Electronic Stability Programme. Renault’s excellent reputation for safety is underlined.
Other equipment, such as dual-zone climate control, auto headlights and wipers and Bluetooth, ensure a high degree of comfort and convenience for everyday motoring.
A sophisticated package for the man racer, a bargain at £24,160 on the road.