We’ve heard so much about the Megane RS we feel like we’re old acquaintances, but truth be told in front of the worldwide audience of the Frankfurt Motor Show Renault actually unwrapped their latest iteration of the compact hot hatch contender.
Regarded by many as one of the best – if not the overall king – in the hot hatchback category, the latest generation Megane RS arrived in Germany in time for the 2017 IAA with the latest design interpretation, new technologies, a new turbo gasoline engine, and, for the sake of both sales and purist fan love, a selection of two gearboxes. And by the way, by the end of next year the Megane RS Trophy – the hardcore version – will also debut and probably attempt to take down Honda Civic Type R’s current record of the Nurburgring hot FWD lap.
As far a number crunching goes, we can tell you under the hood of the Megane RS lies dormant a new 1.8-liter turbocharged gasoline direct injection engine, instead of the older two-liter turbo – directly taken from the Alpine A110 sports car. It comes here with 280 horsepower (205 kilowatts) and can be mated to either a six-speed manual or a dual-clutch six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and even launch control. The Megane RS Trophy will arrive in 2018 with 300 hp (224 kW) – no performance numbers have been revealed yet for either version. The Megane RS also comes with unique features in the segment – Renault’s proprietary 4Control four-wheel steering system, as well as front and rear hydraulic compression stops. As always, Renault gives customers a choice of Cup and Sport chassis setups, with a limited slip differential for the former.
Braking power can optionally be supplemented with bi-material cast iron and aluminum discs – but the Megane RS is now only offered with the five-door body style, along with the company’s Multi-Sense system, with a choice of driving modes: Comfort, Normal, Sport, Race, and Pro. In addition, safety is ensured by a wide range of assistance systems – such as adaptive cruise control with active emergency braking, lane departure warning, blind spot warning, reversing camera, and park assist – first orders for the new Megane RS will be taken by Renault in Europe starting early next year.