The new Renault Mégane RS is on its way to Australia, priced from $44,990 in 6-speed manual guise or $47,490 with Renault’s 6-speed ‘efficient dual-clutch’ (EDC).
But what’s probably on most prospective buyers’ minds is the question of what’s actually new about this Mégane RS?
Given the previous generation has been described in the pages MOTOR Magazine as the class benchmark for pure driving fun in the hot hatch segment, you’d want to be sure it’s worth upgrading to the new version.
So, here’s the highlights reel of the 2018 Mégane RS’s new bits.
The 205kW/390Nm Mégane will, as has been the case previously, be available with a Sport or Cup chassis, the latter being the sharper (but firmer) of the two and only available with a manual ‘box.
Its EDC (dual-clutch) gearbox is, itself, a first for the Mégane RS, though it won’t come with the manual handbrake that the manual version gets.
Its 1.8-litre turbo four is the same as is found in the new Alpine A110, and powers the front wheels only – though Renault did consider all-wheel drive, deciding its in-house system wasn’t yet ready for a sports car.
The biggest dynamic change to the new Mégane, however, is arguably the addition of rear-wheel steering. At speeds below 60km/h or 100km/h in race mode, the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction to the fronts. Above those speeds, the wheels turn in the same direction – but only marginally each way.
Another addition, the ‘multiple shift’ which allows drivers to hold paddles to ‘row’ through the gears seamlessly while in Sport is a new feature for the Mégane RS – a ‘side-effect’ or added bonus of the new EDC gearbox.
Renault also says its use of hydraulic bump-stops is not only a first for the Mégane RS, but for the hot hatch segment worldwide.
MOTOR compares: Mégane RS and its competition
“As the end of travel approaches, a secondary piston dampens the movement of the wheel before the bump stop,” Renault says.
Something that Renault won’t be adding – unlike its rivals – to the new Mégane RS is rev-matching, with a Renault engineer stating that ‘RS’ customers prefer to heel-and-toe in a more involving fashion.
Stay tuned to read MOTOR’s local review of the new Mégane RS, likely in September or October as the first test vehicles arrive in Oz. Deliveries for customer cars should commence in November.