Contrary to some previous reports, the new generation Renault Megane RS features a 1.8-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine, and not a 2.0-liter unit.
The powertrain, which comes straight from the Alpine A110, has been massaged to deliver 280PS (276hp) and 390Nm (288lb-ft) of torque, channeled to the front wheels through either a manual or an automatic dual-clutch transmission, both of them offered with six ratios.
Renault says that the EDC (Efficient Dual Clutch) stands out through a number of specific features, such as the special paddle shifters, similar to those used in motorsport, allowing the driver to change gear without taking his/hers hands off the steering wheel when cornering. It also gets ‘Launch Control’, for almost perfect getaways, and ‘Multi-Change Down’ technology, for fast sequential down-changing that allows those behind the wheel to downshift several gears in quick succession, under braking.
The all-new Renault-Megane RS is offered, as it was announced a few months ago, with a choice of two chassis settings – Sport and Cup. These get the brand’s 4Control four-wheel steering, front and rear hydraulic compression stops -a technology that comes straight from motorsport and provides additional damping- independent steering axis front suspension and a Torsen limited-slip differential, which is a Cup-only feature.
Regardless of their choice, drivers can select between one of the five driving modes – Comfort, Normal, Sport, Race, and Perso. Providing a shortcut access to the Sport and Race modes is the ‘R.S. Drive’ button, with a short or long press, respectively.
On the outside, the French hot hatch has wider fenders, extended by 60mm (2.36in) and 45mm (1.77in) at the front and rear, respectively, compared to the Megane GT, a new front bumper, with a Formula 1-style blade and a wide air intake, as well as a specific grille with diamond grid pattern.
Its profile is dominated by the extractor vents on the front fenders, and the special 18- and 19-inch wheels. The rear gets an F1-inspired diffuser, a centrally-positioned exhaust pipe and a Megane RS hallmark.
Completing the color palette is a new shade, called Volcanic Orange, which benefits from “special work to combine a unique sheen with a special effect as light reflects off the body”, the automaker says, just like the Liquid Yellow, a Renaultsport signature.
Inside, the sports front seats with integrated headrests stand out, as does the charcoal grey cockpit with red top-stitching, and bespoke aluminum pedal and gear lever. Customers can also choose between the ‘carbon fiber weave’ or Alcantara upholsteries.
An upgraded RS Monitor is also part of the package, with a choice of two configurations: ‘RS Monitor’, which displays the driver’s performance in real time on the R-Link 2 screen, and the ‘RS Monitor Expert’, which allows the driver to connect a camera in order to film their drive, and then to play it back, analyze and share the film of their runs on social media.
Last, but not least, the car features a suite of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) such as the Lane Departure Warning, Safe Distance Warning, Traffic Sign Recognition with Over Speed Prevention, Blind Spot Warning, Easy Park Assist, front, rear and side parking sensors, reversing camera, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Active Emergency Braking System.
Sitting under the spotlight at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, the new generation Renault Megane RS will go on sale in Europe this December, and in the United Kingdom next spring.
A more powerful Trophy version of the car, complete with 300PS (296hp), 400Nm (295lb-ft) of torque and the Cup chassis as standard will debut by the end of 2018.
* Article has been updated with live photos from the Frankfurt motor show