Renault Megane RS: Radical Hot Hatch
By Feann Torr - 25/March/2009
Renault Megane RS
Is the Renault Megane RS 250 an inspired design
or a blob-like mess? Let us know with the Mailbox
If you can't wait for
the traffic-stopping Megane sports coupe to arrive later in 2010,
Renault will be bringing just 40 versions of the Barina-sized Clio
Renault Sport 197 F1 Team R27 into Australia for about $40-large.
by a non-turbo 2.0-litre engine that revs to 7250rpm and makes 145kW,
it's a 4-pot screamer that hints at what's to come from the dynamic
2010 model Megane RS.
Feann Torr, Editor
The Renault Megane RS 250 is expected
to arrive on Australian shores late in 2010
– Exotic cars from marques such as Ferrari, Koenigsegg and Aston Martin attract car enthusiasts like moths to a flame.
these ultra-high performance cars are so ludicrously expensive to
buy, let alone maintain, that only the wealthiest of society's drivers
will ever get a chance to sit behind the wheel of such
But premium hot hatches on the other hand
are within reach of the everyman and are beginning to deliver the kind
of head-turning looks that were once the reserve of fantasy cars.
Case in point: the new Megane RenaultSport 250, or Megane RS for short.
new generation VW Golf GTI may be making a lot of noise at the moment,
but this French contender is the darkhorse, capable of bruising the
its debut at the recent motor show in Geneva, the Megane RS shows off a
look that has the potential to change the way hot hatches are perceived.
Love or it hate it, the design pushes the boundaries of the hot hatch genre.
in Paris, France, Renault's high performance Megane shows off a
muscular design with an attention to detail normally found on the
kind of high-end machinery currently being repossessed by debt
Take the rear end design as an example.
finer details add eye candy - the centrally-mounted exhaust outlet, the
integrated diffuser, the square indicator bezels - but the overall form
is where the car gets it's visual appeal.
Porsche pioneered the
art of hiding motor sports-inspired hardware beneath voluptuous curves.
Though not quite to the same extreme, the Renault RS 250 achieves a
The design of the Megane RS's tail end certainly
has a few curves and the pumped wheel arches and rounded roofline
create a compelling image.
Even the colour of the Renault Megane
RS 250, pictured here in white, with its contrasting black wheels
suggests that someone with half a clue was behind the decision
It's a sleek design that I personally can't wait
to see here in Australia and though it's likely to only sell in
small-ish numbers, it will be keenly anticipated by informed
Renault Australia's marketing communications manager
Craig Smith confirmed that his team expects to bring the Renault Megane
RS 250 to Australia, saying "We will work toward getting the car here."
Mr Smith said it was far too early to say when exactly when the vehicle
would arrive. The car won't be on sale in Europe until October, so
allocating its annual supply for export market will take time.
Trend-setting design aside, the Renault Megane RS will be a strong performer.
The last time we tested a turbocharged Renault Megane RS
was in April 2007 and I have clear memories of just how rewarding it
was to punt that car hard and fast. At the time no other hot hatch
offered Brembo brakes or smoked up the front wheels with such panache.
then the model on offer was the Renault Megane RS 225, which
output 165kW @ 5500rpm and 300Nm @ 3000rpm, gifting the vehicle with a
0-100km/h sprint time of 6.15 seconds.
The new 2010 Megane RS 250
gets more power, more gadgets and more must-have performance assets -
like a limited slip diff and daytime LED running lights. Audi will be
Battles with the Volkswagen Golf GTI and Ford Focus
ST/XR5 Turbo will be keenly observed, and with more herbs in its
2.0-litre turbocharged, intercooled 4-cylinder engine, the Renault
Megane RS 250 is emerging as a front-runner.
Power has risen by 19 kilowatts and 40Nm and should give the Renault a Mazda3 MPS-rivalling 6.0 second woah-to-go sprint time.
Max Power: 184kW @ 5500rpm
Max Torque: 340Nm @ 3000rpm
Max Speed: 245km/h (approx)
0-100km/h: 6.0 seconds (approx)
Like all proper
performance cars, the French hot hatch makes use of a 6-speed manual
transmission that puts power to the ground via the front-wheels.
specially tuned ESP system can be switched off for track work or late
night shenanigans, and two stages of suspension tune will be offered:
standard sport and bone-rattling Cup chassis'.
The Renault Megane
RS 250's interior will be tricked out with a range of fancy-pants
features, including sports alloy pedals, bucket leather seats, a motor
sports-inspired steering wheel with thumb grips (yes thumb grips) and
my favourite, an in-your-face tachometer with audio and visual gearshift warnings. Bring it on.
- Renault Megane Coupe (2009)
- Renault Megane Leaked (2009)
- Renault Megane RS 225 (Road Test)
- Renault Sherpa (2008)
- Renault Laguna (2008)
- Renault Koleos (2008)
Sport Clio 182 Cup (Road Test)
- Renault R27 F1 Race Car (2007)
- Renault Mégane F1 Team R26 (2007)
- Renault Twingo (concept)