Without a doubt, the all-new Megane RenaultSport is one of the most anticipated cars of 2018. Coincidentally, the car with which it shares some genetics as well as powertrain, the Alpine A110, could be ranked even higher up.
Still, the Renault-badged product is sure to be the more popular in volume as well as (and maybe because) being more accessible. This third-generation car will no longer be sold as a 3-door but rather, like many of the eminent hotter-than-hot hatches out there today, will come with 5-doors only.
With the world hungry for more, hardly sated after its first official premiere at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show and later at the Tokyo Motor Show, Renault has dropped a sizeable amount of photographs that detail nearly every facet of their new Megane RS. Clearly, they’re quite proud of it.
RenaultSport, or RS for short, is known for their uncanny ability to extract some of the finest and most enjoyable machines on four-wheels even from modest roots - the standard previous-generation and quite humdrum Megane (3rd generation) was a prime example, and somehow the RS version was a revelation unto itself.
However, with this four-generation car upon which Renault has consolidated its vision and considerable resource, their high-performance division has a far stronger foundation to build upon. Engineered emphasise driving pleasure as well as introduce a more upmarket cabin and construction over previous versions, even in base guise, the RS expands on the former while elevating the in-car luxury that was somewhat lacking before.
Power comes from a 1.8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol unit that delivers 205kW and 390Nm to the front wheels, a boost in both power and torque over the older 2.0-litre motor despite the slight downsizing. They’ve also seemingly walked back on their decision to make the Clio RS an auto-only affair and given made a 6-speed manual the new Megane RS’ default transmission option.
To manage that power, 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.
The all-new Megane RS’ interior is quite lavish compared to the spartan lightweight conditions of its predecessor, featuring plenty of soft touch plastics, Alcantara, and leather in certain places, highlighted by the red contrast stitching peppered throughout. It comes with the newest version of the RS Monitor, an onboard telemetry and infotainment packaged as one, presenting its feed through a large 8-inch portrait display.
Presumably, this ‘standard’ Megane RS is meant to be viewed as more a better all-round option, with the promise of a true hardcore track-slayer coming in the form of the RS Trophy, presumed to arrive later in 2018.