When a car-maker puts an RS badge on a car it is rightfully assumed that there is something special going on, especially under the bonnet. Renault has a history of building fast road cars and the Megane Renault Sport is the newest of these that can enthral and excite around every bend.
What you need from a true up-to-date hot hatchback is sufficient grunt, a spontaneous chassis, engaging feedback from the road and accuracy in the corners. Of course there’s stacks more needed, but fundamentally it is all about the fun in the driving seat and the bliss on the open road.
As a design, the Megane is bang-on for shape and Renault has taken full advantage with some eye-catching add-ons and all the functional and design pieces in the right places.
Many are a hint from what we know from their years in Formula 1 such as the wider wheel arches, black 19’ alloys (18-inch are standard), a deep front bumper with big air intake funnels, a huge diffuser under the back bumper and some air vents on the side, both of which has a defined function for aerodynamics.
Inside, the RS trend continues with dark grey materials edged by red trimmings and stitching, ambient lighting to suit your mood, metal pedals and door ledge strips and a host of modern technology operated through a touch screen and an interface that is a little overly complicated.
Some may like the interior to be a bit rawer to reflect the nature of a hot hatch and I too would be of that thinking. However, once you hop into the outstanding sports seats, you are wrapped in a world of Alcantarra and bound with the support that you need and expect from a car like this.
Under the bonnet, Renault is using a new 1.8-litre turbocharged, four-cylinder petrol engine that delivers a healthy 280hp and maximum torque of 390Nm placing it right in the centre of the hot hatch category. In the case of the test car, it is attached to a six-speed automatic gearbox with flipping paddles on the steering and four driving modes to choose from: Comfort, Neutral, Sport, and Race.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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