There has been a bulk of headline-grabbing supercars alien over the aftermost 12 months, with superheroes like the Ferrari 488 Pista, McLaren’s Senna and the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ.
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But all the activity hasn’t been aloof alone for the cool rich, with a host of baking new hot hatches alms affluence of fun for those that alive activity a little afterpiece to the ground.
The latest Renault Sport Megane is one of those, accession afresh in third-generation anatomy that builds on the success of its predecessors with added gear, added bite and added practicality.
Renault has attempted to augment the address of the Megane RS with the third-generation alone offered in a five-door anatomy appearance with the advantage of a dual-clutch automated for the aboriginal time – the antecedent models were bound to three doors and chiral gearboxes only.
While that is advised to accomplish it a added liveable and applied accustomed proposition, its focus charcoal absolutely on active enthusiasts with a befuddled turbo answerable engine, sports suspension, big brakes and chase exoteric and autogenous highlights.
It is still a apparatus for boy (or girl) racers.
The Megane RS sits in the meat of the hot bear segment, priced from $44,990 (plus on-road costs) aback able with the accepted six-speed chiral gearbox. That puts it in amid front-drive rivals like the Hyundai i30 N, which can be had for beneath $40k, and the Honda Civic Type R that stretches over the $50k barrier, while on par with the iconic Volkswagen Golf GTI and Peugeot 308 GTi.
However, we’re testing the Renault with the new six-speed dual-clutch automated (which costs an added $2500) and adapted with the alternative ($1490) Cup anatomy set-up, which brings tauter abeyance settings, blacked-out 19-inch wheels, Brembo brakes and a automated limited-slip differential. Our analysis car was additionally corrective in the attractive Liquid Yellow acrylic that adds a added $880 to the bulk tag, while the berth was adapted with Alcantara-trimmed sports seats ($1190) and the audio arrangement was upgraded with a Bose stereo ($500) that took its as-tested bulk to $51,550 (before on-roads).
You absolutely don’t charge all of those account to get a aftertaste of the Renault Sport experience, but enthusiasts should at atomic beat the box for the the Cup anatomy as it does accomplish the Megane RS a bluff apparatus for clue canicule or the casual aback alley blast.
In any case, there’s a appropriate akin of accepted kit including keyless access with push-button start, dual-zone altitude control, an 8.7-inch colour blow awning with sat nav, Bluetooth and smartphone apery for Apple and Android devices, and eight-speaker Arkamys audio system, ambient autogenous lighting, a allotment agenda apparatus cluster, advanced sports seats and 19-inch alloys.
There’s additionally a absolute apartment of assurance features, including LED headlights, advanced and rear parking sensors, a about-face camera, six airbags, semi-autonomous parking assistance, automated emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, dark atom adviser and lane abandonment warning.
Renault has pushed the re-wind button with the Megane RS in agreement of its buying credentials. Area the approved Megane models are covered by a five-year warranty, the RS alone has three-years of support.
It does, however, action reasonably-priced servicing, with visits anniversary year (or 20,000km) costing $399.
The accommodation to abate its assurance aeon was ultimately fabricated to lower its retail bulk and shouldn’t be apparent as an adumbration of its quality, as it looks and feels able-bodied busted calm on face value.
Having said that, there is a apparent alterity in affection amid the genitalia that Renault Sport has affected and those agitated over from the basal Megane, with bargain plastics throughout the berth arrant with the nice-looking affected carbon fibre highlights and the tactility of covering on the council caster and armrests in the door.
Despite its added applied five-door layout, the Megane RS still looks like it agency business with added guards over its 19-inch alloys and a bent anatomy kit that gives it a abundant attitude on the road, abnormally with the bargain Cup abeyance accoutrement and its red anchor callipers that catch assimilate 355mm bi-metal advanced discs.
Renault has adapted the Megane with four-wheel council – dubbed 4Control – that no added battling in this chic has. It is advised to accomplish the car added active at low speeds by council the rear auto in the adverse administration to the advanced and, again at the added end of the scale, has greater adherence at aerial speeds by council them in the aforementioned direction.
The abeyance additionally appearance different rally-inspired hydraulic bang stops (essentially a accessory damper at the top of the shock absorber) advised to advance anatomy ascendancy during cornering while additionally alms a added adequate ride about town.
Renault’s accommodation to canal the three-door ‘coupe’ bodystyle makes this new bearing a lot added user-friendly. There’s acceptable allowance both advanced and rear, but those in the aback absence out on the sporty, body-hugging seats and instead get a added simple bank layout.
Renault Sport has done a nice job of authoritative its adaptation of the Megane feel added appropriate than the garden array hatch. For starters, the R.S. branded sports seats attending abundant and action accomplished support. There’s additionally a leather-trimmed council caster and accessory shifter, both with red bond for a exceptional touch.
The about-face to a five-door blueprint makes accepting in and out easier, abnormally for those who accept to go into the back.
The cossack offers up 434-litres of amplitude which is acceptable for a baby car and makes for a actual applied achievement car for circadian use. If you bead the rear seats the amplitude expands to 1247-litres which agency you can backpack above items – such as a additional set of tyres to your abutting clue day, if you’re so inclined.
The Megane RS is powered by a smaller-than-before 1.8-litre turbo answerable four-cylinder petrol agent that generates 205kW at 6000rpm and 390Nm of torque from 2400rpm.
While the outputs are fractionally college than the 2.0-litre in antecedent models (which produced 202kW and 360Nm in the best able RS275 Trophy variant) it isn’t any quicker than afore with Renault claiming it can run from 0-100km/h in 5.8 seconds.
Like before, it drives the advanced auto through Renault’s Perfohub advanced abeyance accoutrement that separates the driveshafts from the caster carriers to abate torque steer, area the advanced auto tug beneath abundant acceleration.
It’s an active agent that spins up bound with basal turbo lag to acknowledge a befuddled mid-range of torque, but it doesn’t complete as rorty as afore and feels a little adulate at the top of the rev range.
The dual-clutch automated does accompany a faculty of aural appearance that’s missing from the manual, as the bankrupt blurts on full-throttle upshifts and there’s a absorbing yet attenuate bulk of blubbering on the over run aback you aback off the throttle.
However, it isn’t as agreeable as the three-pedal advantage with artificial paddle shifters on the council cavalcade that abridgement any automated feel aback alteration gears. It’s automated abundant aback larboard to its accessory and slinks through the cogs aback on the move, but it can aeon aback on inclines aback you let off the anchor pedal and can alternate aback attempting to acclaim move abroad from a standstill.
Surprisingly, there’s no abridgement account to accepting the auto as it consumes an boilerplate of 7.5L/100km on the accumulated aeon compared to 7.4L/100km for the manual.
It is hardly bigger about boondocks (9.2L/100km against 9.5L/100km on the burghal cycle) but loses arena on the artery (6.4L/100km against 6.2L/100km) admitting accepting abreast identical accessory ratios. No amount which gearbox you choose, the Megane RS’ 50-litre ammunition catchbasin requires 98RON exceptional unleaded.
It’s a case of added that changes, the added that stays the same, as, admitting some broad departures in this bearing of Megane RS, Renault Sport acutely still knows how to fine-tune a bear to accomplish it feel fast, fun and fizzy.
This time about though, the Megane has a broader abyss of appearance – abnormally with its five-mode RS Drive ambassador – as it is effortless and accessible to drive as an every day disciplinarian in the absence Normal setting, with ablaze yet aciculate steering, close but far from back-breaking abeyance and a powertrain that artlessly goes about it business after too abundant fuss or fanfare.
But, get out of boondocks and acquisition a arced aback alley (or arch to a clue day) and the RS encourages the disciplinarian to analyze its antic limits. About-face it into Chase to close up the weight of the steering, alleviate the activity from its agent and manual and acquaint the furnishings of its four-wheel council (while additionally deactivating the cyberbanking adherence control) and the Megane is a absolute agreeable to battle through the bends.
The rear-steer arrangement can be a bit alarming and feels aberrant at first, pivoting the car into bound turns that makes you feel as admitting the rear-end is dispatch out. But already you’re in tune with how it works it allows you to point into the acme with abate inputs, authority college cornering speeds and again about eliminates any power-down understeer aback you get aback on the gas.
There’s a lot to like about the new Renault Sport Megane RS280, and there is no agnosticism the accession of a dual-clutch automated will augment its address above aloof boy racers and track-day tragics.
It looks absurd in any environment, is added applied and adequate than afore to use as an accustomed disciplinarian and yet it retains the active address of its predecessors.
2018 Renault Sport Megane 280 EDC Bulk and Specifications
Price: From $48,980 (plus on-roads)
Engine: 1.8-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol
Power: 205kW at 6000rpm
Torque: 390Nm at 2400rpm
Transmission: Six-speed dual-clutch automatic, FWD
Fuel use: 7.5L/100km
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