Although technically a ‘warm’ hatchback, the Megane GT’s 1.6-litre turbo four-cylinder still produces 151kW and 280Nm – only 4kW short of a pre-2013 Mk6 Golf GTI.
It shares the basics of its engine with its Clio RS sibling, and likewise singularly mates to an Efficient Dual Clutch (EDC) automatic transmission but with an extra gear now tallying seven. A portly 1392kg kerb weight does, however, restrict its 0-100km/h to 7.1 seconds.
Some beef may owe to the brand’s new four-wheel steering dubbed 4CONTROL – which turns the rear wheels in the opposite direction to the fronts when cornering to enhance agility and reduce the need for steering lock – that could see the light of day in Megane RS, though a torsion bar rear-end remains.
Renault Sport has thankfully tuned the spring and damper rates, gearbox modes and electronic stability control (ESC) calibration for the five-door-only Megane GT, which in Australian specification also gets no shortage of kit.
Standard are 18-inch alloy wheels, twin sports exhaust, front and rear parking sensors with automatic park assist, rear camera, auto keyless entry, dual-zone climate control, 7.0-inch touchscreen with nav and digital radio and front sports seats with cloth/Alcantara trim.
A duo of $1990 optional packages are available including a larger 8.7-inch screen with Bose audio system, and an electric sunroof bundled with an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and vanity mirror lights, though adding these would take the price to a hefty $42,970 (plus orc).
At that price the Renault eclipses a certain other French model, the Peugeot 308 GT at $41,990 (plus orc), which matches the Megane GT in more than just the name.
Although available as manual only, its rival scores identical outputs except for an extra 5Nm while specification is virtually a match with massage seats and active cruise control unique additions, but with a sunroof unavailable.
It may not make an RS of itself but the Megane GT looks to make sporting promise enough on paper – and a wagon joins this hatchback from early next year.