Renault has introduced a mid-life cycle refresh for its Golf-rivalling Megane range and key among the updates is the addition of a new PHEV or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle variant, better trim and an improved suite of electronic advanced driver-assist features.
Renault have also given the RS models the once over as well, but we’ll get to that in a bit. For now, let’s have a quick look at their new PHEV variant – the E-Tech. This new Megane hybrid will feature a 119kW powertrain with an energy-recovery system which draws on Renault’s Formula One experience.
The French automaker says their E-Tech system was developed by in-house engineers and holds 150 patents for the tech. Additionally, the 1.6-litre petrol engine and its two electric motors are mated to a multi-mode clutch-less DHT (dedicated hybrid transmission).
Those electric motors draw power from its 9.8kWh, 400V battery pack which allows for an all-electric range of up to 50km according to the WLTP combined cycle or up to 65km on the urban cycle. Top speed in EV mode is capped at 135 km/h. No economy figures are quoted at time of press. The only caveat to the Megane E-Tech PHEV is that it’s only available in wagon form.
As for the Megane RS – the only variant we’re offered here in Australia – its lineup has been streamlined further with the removal of the ‘base’ variant. As such, all Megane RS variants will be powered by a 224kW 1.8-litre turbocharged four-banger as found in the Trophy version, with 400Nm when paired to a six-speed stick shifter or 420Nm when mated to the brand’s six-speed dual-clutch EDC gearbox.
Furthermore, the suppler Sport chassis is now applied onto the regular RS version, while the Trophy variant is only available with the Cup setup, which features a limited-slip differential, stiffer springs, shocks and anti-roll bars. The new Megane RS range will also get a bi-modal exhaust system and the new but optional RS Monitor which displays live info such as acceleration, braking, steering angle and various temperatures and pressures.
Elsewhere, the Megane range will be offered with revised Pure Vision LED headlights which are much brighter, claimed the brand. Also new is the RS Line package, which replaces the previous GT Line pack, and includes sportier front and rear aprons for a more dynamic look. Inside, the revisions continue with the addition of Renault’s latest Easy Link infotainment system. Also new is a 7.0 or 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster display.
Finally, the updated Megane will get a revamped driver-assist suite with improved features such as lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, AEB, blind spot warning, lane departure warning and driver drowsiness detection. Other features include the optional park assist, reversing camera, easy park assist, cruise-controller with speed limiter, automatic high-beam assist headlights and traffic sign recognition.
Renault Australia has confirmed that the new Megane RS will be offered here, with deliveries expected to begin in early 2021.
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