Renault has upped the ante with its latest hot hatch variant of the Megane Coupe, with this new Megane Renaultsport, RS for short. This latest Megane RS has had its power increased by 15hp and an additional 20Nm of torque, which brings it inline with the hot Trophy variant we tested last year.
265hp is asking a lot for the front wheels to handle, not forgetting that they have to manage the steering too. The Megane RS is undeterred by the potential torque steer problems associated with this much power being transmitted through its front wheels. It’s a potent car that can handle its power and thanks to a sublime chassis it handles as good and in some cases better than some super cars. To put this in context, it currently holds the record for setting the fastest laptime for a front-wheel drive car around the infamous Nurburgring ‘Nordschleife’ race circuit, with a time of 8mins 8secs. Closer to home, the Megane RS Trophy which we drove last year remains at the top of our hot hatch lap chart around Mondello Park’s National Circuit, with a time of 1:07.56.
This new Megane RS has undergone a mild facelift which includes a new lower front F1-style blade spoiler. There are muscular wheel arch mouldings and a rear centre-exit exhaust to complete its sporty looks. Behind the 19” alloys on our test car sit hefty Brembo brake callipers which not only look the part, they provide impressive braking capabilities. The Renaultsport engineers have revised the engine to improve the noise with a more open exhaust design and a reinforced sound pipe. In Sport mode there’s a noticeable increase in the rasp emitted from the exhaust, with a pleasant popping sound on lift-off.
There’s isn’t much to get excited about inside the RS, it’s functional and importantly has a central driving position. The interior of our test car was complemented by two-tone light grey and charcoal leather upholstery. The optional Recaro sports seats are definitely worth splashing out on, they’re supportive as well as aesthetically pleasing.
This latest Megane RS is undoubtedly a driver’s car, it somewhat lacks the refinement of a Volkswagen Golf GTI and isn’t as spacious as the more practical Ford Focus ST. If you don’t have much need for rear passenger space, and driving is your priority the Megane RS for us is the leader of the pack in terms of driving dynamics.[table “104” not found /]