Renault Australia insists that the next Megane is on track and fans of the RS models Down Under won’t be left in the lurch – contrary to reports surfacing out of the UK.
Renault Australia’s corporate communications manager, Andrew Ellis, told Wheels there had been no talks about axing the Megane from the line-up.
“There is a new one coming – the Megane will always be a part of the line-up here in Australia,” Ellis said, before jokingly adding: “I think we’d have the Megane fans lining up at the front door of our head office if we suggested anything else.”
Power outputs for all Megane RS variants now sit at the Trophy’s 221kW level with Ellis emphatic on the future of the French hot hatch in Australia.
“I can guarantee it – definitely the RS, but there is the new GT-Line that we’ll have a look at as well.”
Asked if the next-generation RS was still in development, Ellis said it remained all systems go.
“Obviously with COVID-19 and things being shut down there is currently a delay, but when things clear, we will definitely have RS into the future,” he said.
On the flipside, British outlet Auto Express interviewed Renault’s design chief, Laurens van den Acker, who said that the future of the Megane was under threat due to the EV shift.
“Inevitably, once we’re starting to add a range of EVs to our line-up, some of the other vehicles are going to have to go because we just can’t afford to develop all of this at the same time,” van den Acker said.
“The Megane is in a segment that’s increasingly under pressure. You have to put your money where the future of the market is.”
On that EV and hybrid shift, Ellis said that the current plan for Renault Australia was to stick with just the RS, but accessing other options wasn’t out of the question.
“We’ll definitely look at everything – we have to. However, it has got to make a business case,” he said.
“We have already been pretty bold bringing in the Zoe and the Kangoo ZE, so we’re a brand that definitely looks at those things, and if it’s the right fit we’ll bring it in.”
One of those models in question is the Megane E-Tech PHEV, which uses two electric motors and a 9.8kWh lithium-ion battery pack for a WLTP-rated range of 48km in pure EV mode.