RENAULT’S new Megane RS is on its way to Australia, and will arrive with retail pricing as hot as its performance.
Due to go on sale in September, the most performance-focused iteration of the Megane hatchback will be available from $44,990 – that’s $6000 less than its front-wheel-drive rival the Honda Civic Type R.
Two chassis configurations and transmission choices will be available in Australia, in an effort to appeal to a wider audience.
A six-speed manual gearbox is fitted as standard at the $44,990 entry price, while opting for a six-speed dual-clutch automatic bumps the start price up to $47,490.
A Sport chassis tune is standard regardless of transmission choice. Buyers who opt for the three-pedal manual will be able to option a Cup Pack for $1490, which upgrades the RS 280 with a Cup chassis tune.
Cup chassis Meganes receive revised springs, dampers and bump stops, resulting in a 10 percent increase in stiffness over the Sport chassis.
Renault says the Sport chassis is for “drivers who like a sporty, but still refined, drive,” while the Cup is the more focused option of the two.
While missing out on the Cup chassis choice, owners of dual-clutch Megane RS variants do gain the ability to use Launch Control in Sport and Race driving modes.
The Megane RS is powered by a 205kW/390Nm 1.8-litre turbocharged four cylinder engine, sending power to the front wheels only.
Renault claims the Megane RS 280 will be able to crack 100km/h from standstill in 5.8 seconds.
Those who tick the Cup Pack option will have that power delivered via a Torsen mechanical limited-slip differential.
In a first for the hot-hatch segment, the Megane RS will be fitted with four-wheel-steering as standard.
Renault’s system turns the rear wheels in the same direction as the front wheels at speeds over 60km/h. Below 60km/h and the front and rear wheels turn in opposite directions. The threshold for the four-wheel-steer system is increased to 100km/h in Race mode.
Stopping power comes thanks to 355mm diameter front brake discs – an increase of 15mm compared to the previous generation Megane RS.
Owners with the Cup Pack fitted will have ‘bi-material’ brake rotors, which combine aluminium and cast iron, reducing unsprung weight by 1.8kg at each corner and improving brake cooling.
Inside the cabin, Renault Australia has fitted a relatively generous standard equipment package that includes front, rear and side parking sensors, a rear parking camera, 8.7-inch portrait touchscreen with satellite navigation, dual-zone climate control, cruise control, proximity keycard with automatic locking and welcome function, handsfree parking, heated folding electric door mirrors, blind spot warning, adaptive cruise control, and automatic emergency braking all included in the base price.
Optional extras include metallic paint ($600), Liquid Yellow or Tonic Orange metallic paint ($880), Alcantara leather upholstery ($1190), a Bose sound system ($500), and panoramic sunroof ($1990).
Against its competitors the $44,990 starting price for the Megane RS is pricier than the 202kW/353Nm Hyundai i30N, but more affordable than the less powerful Peugeot 308 GTi (200kW/330Nm).
Renault Megane RS rival prices and power:
- Hyundai i30 N (202kW/353Nm - $39,990
- Volkswagen Golf GTI (169/350Nm) - $41,490
- Peugeot 308 GTi 270 (200kW/330Nm) - $45,990
- Honda Civic Type R (228kW/400Nm) - $50,990
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