ENRIGHT GOES FOR A LAP OF THE RING BUT FAILS TO FIND AIR APPARENT
WHEN WAS THE last time you went out for a drive just for the fun of it? Unfortunately, a no-particulardestination solo blast on great roads isn’t something many of us block out time in the diary for. Life has a habit of getting in the way.
A Sunday when my partner was overseas and nothing particular needed doing raised exactly that opportunity for me, so I juiced the Megane RS up
the previous night and pointed it at the Reefton Ring.
You might know this drive loop, even if you’re not a Melburnian. It’s a 124km jaunt that runs through Warburton, Healesville, Marysville, Reefton and back to Warburton accessible from any point on the circuit.
It includes open, flowing roads, the temperate rainforest of the Black Spur, a bit of altitude up past Lake Mountain and the seemingly endless twists of Reefton Spur. Go clockwise to descend Reefton Spur or anti-clock for an ascent of the bends. You’ll get it done in comfortably less than two hours without unduly endangering your licence, and it’s a great test of a car’s ride and handling.
The former isn’t a forte of the Megane RS with the Cup chassis, but this Renault never saw a corner it didn’t like, and the Reefton Ring is chock full of ’em. Early on a Sunday morning at a decent clip is a great way to blow away a few cobwebs and really put the Megane into its element.
I took a break to ponder the finer points of the handling envelope over a vanilla snot block the size of a steamer trunk from the Beechworth Bakery in Healesville. Once the tyres are warmed up, it understeers far less and the Perso drive mode lets you tailor the dynamic settings. I mentioned at one point previously that the car’s pedals weren’t very well set up for heel and toeing. That judgment may have been premature. In the more comfortable modes, the throttle travel is too long for an effective blip. Dialling it into Sport or Race sharpens the throttle mapping and then you can give the loud pedal a crisp jab with your right clog.
Not quite so much fun is the Megane’s strange predilection for tyre deflation. On a few occasions I’ve hopped into the vehicle, often after travelling away for a week, and been greeted by a low-tyre-pressure warning. The strange thing is, it’s rarely been the same tyre twice, so returning it to 33psi front, 30psi rear is becoming a fairly regular occurrence. I’d be keen to hear from any other owners who’ve experienced similar apparently random deflations. Other than that, I’m already looking forward to the next quiet Sunday and another lap of the Ring.