RENAULT’S all-new Megane RS 280 will arrive in Australia in the third quarter of this year – and will wear a sticker price that’ll undercut its closest competitors.
Wheels can confirm the French hot hatch will start at approximately $45,000 for the six-speed manual, with the six-speed EDC dual-clutch automatic costing $47,500.
Both the automatic and manual Meganes will come with what Renault dubs the ‘Sport’ chassis tune, which sits between the setup of the softer GT models, and flagship Trophy cars.
A higher-spec Megane Trophy will follow the Renault Megane RS 280 and is likely to arrive in the first half of 2019, with Renault Australia pushing for the car to land locally as soon as possible.
The Trophy will be equipped with a more track-focused Cup suspension tune, and be available with both a manual and EDC transmission.
The Honda Civic Type R and Ford Focus RS both cost $50,990 and only come fitted with three pedals, while the Volkswagen Golf R is priced at $52,990 for the manual and $55,490 for the seven-speed DSG dual-clutch auto.
It is expected the Hyundai i30N will be priced around $45,000 when it arrives in Australia later this year.
The 2018 Megane RS upends tradition, transforming from a three-door to five-door body between generations.
It shares the same engine as the new Alpine A110, with the 1.8-litre direct-injected turbo four-cylinder delivering peak power of 205kW at 6000rpm. Maximum torque of 390Nm is delivered to the front wheels between 2400rpm and 5000rpm.
That makes the Megane RS 22kW and 10Nm less powerful than the Civic Type R.
In a first for the class, the Megane RS will be fitted with four-wheel steering as standard.
Wheels is on the ground in Spain for the international launch of the Megane RS, with drive impressions coming soon.