With its high-end performance, enhanced agility, virtual experience and sensorial sportiness the new Renault Megane RS is an open invitation behind the steering wheel and a guaranteed shot of adrenaline.
The hot hatch segment is one of the most fiercely contested and while the Volkswagen Golf Gti enjoys unparalleled sales success, the French automaker is pushing value, Formula 1 technology and a good price.
Visually, the RS model makes its mark with a wider air intake, the body has also been widened and it sits lower to the ground. It looks purposeful, powerful and poised. At the back, there’s a Formula 1-inspired diffuser and the rear spoiler, according to Renault, provides genuine downforce.
The Megane RS280 LUX is fitted with a sport chassis and comes as standard with a six-speed Efficient Dual Clutch (EDC) automatic gearbox. It rides on 18-inch alloys as standard.
The more hardcore version for sports purists is the Megane RS.280 CUP which has a six-speed manual transmission, a firmer chassis with stiffer dampers and it rides on 19-inch alloys from the factory.
In terms of specification, it’s packed with everything you’d expect to find in a premium hatchback of this level, including voice control, electrically operated windows and mirrors and a built-in satellite navigation. LED headlights up front, with RS Vision LEDS in the lower section of the front bumper are a nice touch.
The seats are also supportive and one can play around with the various drive modes: comfort, normal, sport, race and personal via the RS button or the massive touchscreen on the dash. These modes enhance the engine note and stiffen the steering (sport) or completely disable the Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) and enhance agility from the four-wheel steering system (race).
You will also find USB and Bluetooth connectivity as standard, four speakers, push-to-talk and audio streaming technology.
The new Megane RS is extremely fast, yet extremely controllable. First seen on the Megane GT, the RS version also benefits from a four-wheel steering system which helps the car’s agility. At low speeds, the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction to the front wheels, up to a maximum angle of 2.7 degrees. When the tarmac gets twisty, the system delivers 20% more direct steering. At high speeds, the front and rear wheels turn in the same direction, limited to a one-degree angle for the rear wheels. It’s all about positioning the car better for acceleration out of corners, particularly when you’ve selected race mode.
The Megane RS delivers 205 kW of power and 390 Nm of torque and reached the 100 km/h mark from standstill in 5,8 seconds.
When it comes to safety Renault did not compromise and added pelvis/thorax side airbags for the driver and front-seat passenger and there are also front and rear curtain head airbags.
Both CUP and LUX models are available at BB Group Renault Polokwane. For more information visit their showroom at 20 Excelsior Street or contact them on 015 287 1300.
Story: RC Myburgh