The new model, which has been developed by the brand’s competition department RenaultSport, will be offered in Sport and Cup versions. The 4Control technology will be offered as standard on both – with the rear wheels steering by up to 2.7 degrees in a different direction to the fronts, the car promises greater agility through tight turns and more stable when cornering at speed.
The Megane R.S. also gains an all-new 1.8-litre turbocharged petrol engine offering 280hp and 390Nm of torque, and matched to a choice of six-speed manual or six-speed auto transmissions. The power figure is under the plus-300hp outputs of rivals such as the Ford Focus RS and Honda Civic Type R, but Renault is confident its car will be competitive thanks to the four-wheel steering.
More potent version to come
No performance figures for the Megane R.S. are yet being quoted, but Renault also plans to launch a Trophy version before the end of 2018, and this will have an engine producing 300hp and 400Nm together with further performance upgrades.
Chassis upgrades to the new Megane R.S., which is now based on a five-door shell, include front and rear hydraulic compression stops on the suspension. Developed for motorsport, these add extra damping and eliminate a rebound effect that harms cornering ability. The car’s front suspension has also been completely redesigned.
Order books for the Megane R.S. will open in Spring 2018 and the car has already been given the thumbs up by Renault Formula One driver Nico Hulkenberg, who was involved in its development. “Thanks to the new technologies it packs, including 4Control technology, New Mégane R.S. is even more efficient and nimble than its predecessor – it’s a delight to drive,” he says.