Motoring

New Renault Mégane R.S.

Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

A hot hatch icon, the Mégane R.S. has long been the complete car for enthusiasts.

The latest Mégane R.S. has received aesthetic and technological enhancements to defend its title as the benchmark hot hatchback. 

The model boasts a 1.8-litre turbocharged petrol engine, a fast-shifting EDC transmission and a choice of chassis.

Designed with the driving enthusiast in mind, the petrol lump is the most powerful engine Renault has ever produced. This is complemented by a sleek exterior design with a more engaging interior experience.

At the front of the vehicle, a honeycomb grille design flanked by vivid R.S. Vision LED headlamps give a sharp, purposeful look. Revised daytime running lights now incorporate the indicators for an even more distinctive presence.

As well as the aesthetic benefits, the LED light units illuminate the road more effectively, with the beam increasing by almost 30 per cent.

The main LED light units are complemented by unique chequered-flag fog lights specific to the R.S. and F1-inspired full-width front blade. Finished in gun metal grey, it reaches across the full width of the vehicle and is set off by the pronounced front wheel arches for a true sports car stance.

Along the side of the Renault, new trim details on the wings feature the R.S. logo, while at the rear, its hunkered silhouette remains strong. This is thanks to extended rear wheel arches and custom rear diffuser – also finished in gun metal grey.

The large central exhaust and roof spoiler complete the dynamic exterior look, while a shark fin antenna is finished in gloss black.

New LED rear lights give the car a distinctive signature at night, with revised lighting stretching the full width of the tailgate and features dynamic rear indicators below, combining for an instantly recognisable look with sophisticated lighting details.

The Mégane R.S. 300 features 18-inch ‘Estoril’ alloy wheels to set it apart with grey brake callipers featuring subtle R.S. badges, complementing the R.S. body work.

Inside, you benefit from an all-encompassing driving environment courtesy of ultra-supportive sports seats and an optimised driving position.

The cabin materials have been enhanced for a more premium look and feel. New heating and ventilation controls below the touchscreen are more ergonomic and easier to use, providing fast access to climate functions without disrupting the main touchscreen display. Tactile rotary controls with a knurled finish and integrated displays contribute to the more upmarket feel.

As standard, the new Mégane R.S. features R.S. Carbon Black cloth upholstery with matching door trim fabric, carbon-fibre look dashboard and door trim, red stitching and unique R.S.-specific steering wheel with R.S. badging and central red marker at the top of the wheel.

Producing 300hp – a 20hp increase for the New Mégane R.S compared with the previous R.S. 280 – all versions come with wheel-mounted shift paddles for even greater driver engagement.

Selected via the MULTI-SENSE drive mode selector, Launch Control is available in the more focused Sport and Race modes. With the clutch and turbo preloaded, the optimum start from a standstill is enabled for even faster acceleration.

The New Mégane R.S. 300 accelerates from 0-62mph in just 5.7 seconds and will go on to reach a top speed of 158mph.

Featuring the Sport chassis as standard, the Mégane R.S. delivers a dynamic and engaging yet refined and stable driving experience, offering accomplished all-round performance. Hallmark features of the Mégane R.S. remain, including the innovative 4Control four-wheel steering that delivers maximum agility in sharper turns and high-speed stability through faster corners.

At lower speeds, the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction to the front wheels for greater response and manoeuvrability – giving the R.S. a unique experience with playful and direct handling characteristics. At higher speeds they move in the same direction with perfect alignment for more enhanced stability, reaffirming its capability as a consummate all-round hot hatchback.

The exhaust system has also been revised, and now includes a mechanical valve to adjust the sound for an even more involved driving experience. The exhaust is just one of the features that can be adjusted via the R.S.’s MULTI-SENSE driving modes.

When the valve is shut, exhaust gasses are routed along a path designed to filter out low frequency noises that normally create more of a throbbing tone – a setting that could be preferred for everyday use. Alternatively, when the valve is open, the exhaust gasses are routed along a more direct path that delivers a stronger, more purposeful sound expressing the vehicle’s full potential.

Guys, why not make this road-rocket your main car? I mean, it sits five-up and you’ll stand out from the crowd at the school gates. Oh, and you can even rinse the youth from your system at weekends on track – that’s if you can escape the kids and other family commitments!

To find out more about the latest Mégane R.S. click here.

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