Things are about to really heat up in the hot hatch space as category specialists Renault Sport launch their next-generation flagship, the new Megane RS. While the car itself is just about fully out in the open, individual markets, especially those outside Europe, will have to wait for their turn.
For Australians, that time will come some time later this year - in the third quarter, to be slightly more specific. That in mind, Renault Australia’s announcement that the car’s prices will begin at $45,000 should be some comfort to enthusiasts.
The third-generation Megane RS will be a little more expensive than its immediate predecessor, for sure, but the car is also far more capable in multiple ways. As it something of a trend currently, as with the current Focus RS and Honda Civic Type R, the Megane RS ditches the 3-door layout and will only be made as 5-door. The Hyundai i30 N is also a new contender that the Megane will face off against.
As standard, the car will come with a six-speed manual transmission - much to the relief of fans who might have seen the EDC-only Clio RS as a signal that Renault has decided to abandon the three pedal layout for good. However, should buyers choose, the dual-clutch transmission can also be selected for that extra measure of convenience and performance, costing $2,500 extra.
The incoming Megane RS will be powered by a 1.8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine that generates 205kW and 390Nm. A limited slip front differential is installed while an independent axis rack and adaptive springs and dampers help ensure the car responds to the driver with immediacy and poise. For the first time, too, the RS comes with a rear-wheel steering system called 4Control.