THE NEXT Renault Megane RS will be offered in five-door form only, with Renault refraining for the first time from developing a three-door RS coupe for the Megane range.
At the debut of the fourth-generation Megane at the Frankfurt motor show last week, Executive Vice President Jerome Stoll confirmed that the new RS version, which is likely to be revealed in 2016, would be a five-door only model.
“An RS Coupe? No,” said Stoll flatly when asked about the new-generation Megane. Stoll also could not guarantee that a manual gearbox would remain part of the offering for the Megane RS, but added that Australia – as one of the highest-selling markets for RS models – had a role to play in the decision to offer one.
“I like very much Australia for that reason, for it helps us very much to move in that direction,” said Stoll.
“We are not any more developing cars just for Europe; we are looking at other markets like Australia, Japan … there are some markets that are very relevant for the development, and which – to be honest – were not considered enough until recently,” he said.
Without a manual gearbox, the Megane RS will go down the same road as the latest Clio RS, introduced in 2013. Its predecessor was offered as a manual only three-door hatch. The new generation became exclusively five-door with a dual-clutch transmission, and no manual option.
Despite criticism from the media and purists, sales of the Clio RS increased substantially with the arrival of the new model.
Stoll also said that the Renault RS line-up may offer more models than the two sold here – the Clio and Megane – as it works more closely with alliance partner Nissan.
“We are reconsidering completely the strategy for the sports car. For the time being, we have the Clio, Megane – we have a lot of pressure to expand; we are considering that. It’s not just a question of extending the line-up, but having the proper product.”
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