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2018 Renault Mégane RS: the competition

By Chris Thompson, 04 Jul 2018 News

2018 Renault Megane RS the competition news

How does the new Mégane RS stack up in the new hot hatch golden age?

The new 2018 Renault Mégane RS has had its pricing and specifications confirmed for Australia, with the French hot hatch fitting in neatly to the current fold of front-drivers.

The 205kW/390Nm Mégane has been priced at $44,990 for a manual version before on-roads, or $47,490 for a dual-clutch. The Cup Pack comes at an additional $1490, which adds a sharper chassis, Brembo brakes, black 19-inch wheels, and a Torsen LSD at the front.

Read more: 2018 Renault Mégane RS pricing and specs

We’re comparing it with its rivals on price and specs to give you an idea of what to expect. We’re also limiting it to fellow front-drivers, so the Golf R and Focus RS are out of the game.

2018 Mk7.5 Golf GTI - $41,490 (m) / $43,990 (dct)

Considered the benchmark by many, the GTI is best described as a ‘do-it-all’ hot hatch.

The more affordable Golf GTI is less powerful with 169kW, and less torquey with 350Nm, but lighter by nearly 100kg (1329kg to the manual Mégane’s 1427kg).

It’s also a generally more popular car with broad appeal, leading us to believe it’ll top the Mégane at a showroom level, even if it doesn’t in terms of dynamics.

2018 Peugeot 308 GTi 270

The ageing fellow-Frenchie recent had its price dropped to the same price as the Mégane RS at $45,990.

It’s a little less powerful with only 200kW, and has 60 fewer Newtons, but its kerb weight of just 1200kg makes it a dynamic delight.

It’s an often overlooked performance hatch, but in terms of polish we suspect the Mégane will show it up by a long way.

2018 Hyundai i30 N

A complete newcomer to the field, the i30 N is vastly impressive given it’s a first attempt at a Hyundai hot hatch.

However, it seems like the sort of car that’ll come down to individual preferences. The i30 N’s 202kW and 378Nm are creeping up on the Mégane’s figures, and it’s only 2kg heavier. Hyundai claims 6.1 seconds to 100km/h, three tenths slower than the Mégane.

But it’s arguably not as good-looking, and could be seen as the ‘boy-racer’ alternative for it’s rorty exhaust and more rally-inspired styling.

The big plus is that it’s $5K cheaper.

2018 Honda Civic Type R

Our Performance Car of the Year 2018, the Civic Type R will be the toughest opponent for the Mégane RS to take down.

However, the 228kW/400Nm Honda also costs $6000 more at $51,990, likely putting it out of reach for some who’d consider the Mégane.

Worthy Watch: PCOTY 2018 feature video

Additionally, it’s a four-seater, costing it some convenience points. It’s well fast though, clocking 0-100km/h in just 5.68 seconds in our hands, up against the Mégane’s claimed 5.8sec.