RENAULT isn’t due to officially launch the 2018 Megane RS until September at the Frankfurt Motor Show, but the highly anticipated hot-hatch will make its public debut at this weekend’s Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix in what is becoming a tradition for the French carmaker.
The Megane RS follows other hi-po Renaults shown off for the first time at the Principality’s iconic street circuit, though it will mark the first time Renault has revealed a production car to the Monegasque crowd.
Take a look back at the other Renaults that made their debut at Monaco:
Alpine A 110-50 Concept
Renault wowed spectators at the Circuit de Monaco in 2012 when its 295kW tribute to the legendary Alpine A110 Berlinette hit the track to celebrate the performance sub-brand’s 50th anniversary.
It sported a 3.5-litre V6, mounted in the middle of its Megane Trophy racing chassis and echoed Renault’s strong Formula 1 presence with a paddle-shift gearbox and racing aerodynamics, including a huge rear spoiler that wasn’t just for show.
Sadly, nothing became of the A110-50, though Renault did release another Berlinette inspired concept four years later, the Alpine Vision, which spawned an all-new Alpine A110 production model that debuted at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year.
Apparently buoyed by the reception the Alpine A110-50 received at Monte Carlo, Renault sent another concept a year later in the form of the much smaller, but almost as powerful, Twin’Run city car in newly hotted-up form.
Proving that great things come in small packages the oddly-named Twin’Run managed to house a 236kW 3.5-litre V6 engine mated to a six-speed sequential gearbox in its tiny carbonfibre body.
Paying homage to the Renault R5 Turbo and Clio V6 the Gallic pocket rocket was underpinned by a motorsport-derived tubular chassis which kept the power-to-weight ratio low enough to achieve 0-100km/h in 4.5 seconds.
Renault Clio RS.16
Last year’s Monaco Grand Prix saw the global debut of Renault’s Clio RS.16 concept, which was developed to showcase RenaultSport’s expertise and inventiveness when given a blank canvas.
That said, it still would have taken some effort to shoehorn the Megane RS 275’s 205kW/360Nm 2.0-litre Trophy-R powertrain and cooling system into the diminutive Clio chassis. Predictably, their efforts didn’t make their way to a production version. The latest Clio RS instead makes do with a 1.6-litre turbocharged donk, with 149kW and 164kW options.
2017 Megane RS
Which brings us to Renault’s latest production hot hatch, which is expected be front-wheel drive but with four-wheel steering and powered by a highly tuned version of Renault’s 2.0-litre turbo engine set to deliver more than 220kW – about 20kW more than today’s RS 275.
It will lap the Circuit de Monaco on Friday adorned in RenaultSport yellow with Renault F1 driver Nico Hülkenberg behind the wheel.
We can’t wait!